Sleepy Hollow cell tower deal falls through

  • Sleepy Hollow residents put up signs in 2015 opposing a cellphone tower proposed near the village hall. After years of heated debates and lease negotiations, a wireless infrastructure company backed out of the deal with the village.

      Sleepy Hollow residents put up signs in 2015 opposing a cellphone tower proposed near the village hall. After years of heated debates and lease negotiations, a wireless infrastructure company backed out of the deal with the village. Rick West | Staff Photographer (2015)

 
 
Updated 11/29/2019 9:45 AM

Years after a controversial cellphone tower was given the green light to be built on Sleepy Hollow property, village officials say the lease agreement has fallen through.

Tennessee-based Vogue Towers planned to install and maintain a 125-foot-tall structure on village-owned land behind the village hall at 1 Thorobred Lane, per the terms of a deal approved in 2017.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The wireless infrastructure company completed engineering work and other steps in the due diligence process but never broke ground, Village President Stephan Pickett said.

Earlier this month, he said, Vogue notified the village the contract would not be moving forward, citing unexpected delays with cellular carriers.

The cell tower has been the subject of heated debates since 2015, when National Wireless Ventures first petitioned the village to allow such a structure. The Chicago-area company negotiated and signed a lease with Sleepy Hollow before transferring the contract to Vogue Towers, Pickett said.

In a series of public meetings on the topic, several residents and trustees questioned the tower's necessity and said it would disrupt the community's quaint, rural atmosphere. But supporters saw the deal as a necessary step for improving cell service, data speed and bandwidth capacity in the area.

According to the lease, Vogue Towers was expected to pay a base rate of $1,800 per month for use of the property, with rent increasing incrementally as wireless carriers were added to the cell tower. The QuadCom emergency dispatch system also planned to use the structure for more reliable radio communication between police officers and first responders, village officials said.

Vogue Towers' decision to nullify the deal is "a bump in the road," Pickett said, "but the wheels aren't coming off."

The company indicated the site remains a "desired location for a tower," he said. "They do leave the door open to come back in the future should the situation change."

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