The Village of Rochester Plan Commission has recommended against a proposal seeking permission to install a 304-foot-tall lattice cellular phone tower on Oak Knoll Road. (File photo)

Plan Commission says it is not compatible with the area

By Dave Fidlin


The proposed installation of a 304-foot-high cell tower in rural Rochester has been voted down by a village panel on assertions the would-be structure does not meet each of a 13-point list of prerequisites.

After lengthy deliberation and discussion, the Plan Commission on Oct. 28 denied issuance of a conditional-use permit to Bug Tussel Wireless Cloud 1 LLC. The Green Bay-based firm had sought approval to construct a guy wired lattice structure at 34914 Oak Knoll Road.

Commissioners began discussing the cell tower in September, but delayed action after questions about the structure’s impact on surrounding residential properties bubbled to the surface.

At the most recent meeting, the appointed body heard an earful from residents, many living close to the proposed site, during a public hearing. Concerns about a number of issues were raised, including perceived property value loss and aesthetics.

“Ask yourself: Would you want that monstrosity next to your house?” said resident John Bennett, who questioned why the structure was proposed in Rochester. “I think each of you know why you want to live in this community. We’re a close-knit community.”

When asked why they were pursuing Rochester, Jay Wendt, director of network real estate with Bug Tussel, said a confluence of factors came together before they submitted their application to the village, including an offer from the current property owner, the Rosemarie Noble Trust, to use the land.

“We needed a viable land owner,” Wendt said. “Without that, we’re nowhere.”

Village Attorney Eric Larson led the Plan Commission on the exercise of determining whether the tower was suitable for the land and surrounding areas.

Ultimately, commissioners said Bug Tussle failed to meet multiple conditions, several having to do with the general compatibility to the surrounding area.

      To read the entire story see the Nov. 6 version of the Waterford Post.