Cell tower planned at Arlington Heights church property

  • A photo rendering shows what a 75-foot cell tower and its associated equipment area will look like at the Cross and Crown Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights.

    A photo rendering shows what a 75-foot cell tower and its associated equipment area will look like at the Cross and Crown Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights. Courtesy of Village of Arlington Heights

 
 

A proposed 75-foot antenna tower along Rand Road in Arlington Heights is intended to improve cellphone coverage, while providing an extra source of revenue for the church that owns the property, officials said.

A real estate firm representing Verizon Wireless has inked a lease with Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, 1122 W. Rand Road, to locate the tower behind the church in an area identified by the cellphone carrier as a growing "dead-zone."

The height of the tower was reduced from 100 feet to 75 feet, while its location was moved so that it is equidistant from townhouses to the southeast and single-family homes to the north, village officials said.

They asked Verizon's real estate firm, DRA Properties, to negotiate with ComEd to place the tower within the utility company's nearby right of way, but ComEd declined since the tower could impact its 140-foot-tall transmission lines.

Doug Dolan, of DRA Properties, said the firm's first choice is to co-locate on existing structures or rooftops, but the church building itself doesn't have the capacity for rooftop equipment.

The so-called "stealth" tower would conceal the antenna and supporting wires and cables, and have room for up to two additional cell carriers' antennae. Related equipment including a generator would be placed at the base of the pole and screened by an eight-foot brick wall.

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In response to safety concerns, Dolan said the radio frequency of the tower is equivalent to a home Wi-Fi system or baby monitor.

Bob Ehlert, who volunteers with the church's Ministry of Hope homeless outreach program, said the revenue from the lease will benefit the church and its programs.

The village board this week approved a land use variation to allow the tower. It's scheduled to be installed in August.

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