There’s an interesting thorn in the side of the recent planning commission approval of Meriam Park that nobody seems to have brought up or discussed. Maybe there are plans I’m not aware of, but given the issues being raised with a cell phone tower elsewhere in the city, it seems the issue would have been vocalized by now.
There’s a giant cell phone tower jutting into the Meriam Park property. Most people think its a standard radio station. It was, but not anymore. It’s purely a cell phone site. It’s at the intersection of Bruce and Picholine Way, as seen at left.
I’ve also provided an aerial view from Google Earth.
The former KHSL-AM radio towers on Bruce Road no longer broadcast on AM 1290 as they did for 50 plus years. That transmitter was removed a few years ago but the towers remained. The FCC license was and property was sold to McCoy broadcasting and KPAY 1050 was converted to 1290.
In the early 1990’s, one of Chico’s first cell phone services was placed on the East tower and it remains in service today. The West tower is not transmitting anything at all. A few years ago, the Bruce road property was sold to one of the cell phone companies when Clearchannel bought KPAY from McCoy.
The old KHSL Radio tower cell site is probably the best in Chico due to its location and height. I don’t think they’ll be easily persuaded to give it up.
So now, some city councilors that may want to vote against a cell phone tower at the Elks Lodge for “health and safety” issues raised by enlightened citizens may find themselves in a pickle when it comes to approving Meriam Park homes that will be less than 500 feet from those “dangerous cell phone emissions”.
In the graphic below from the Meriam Park planning website, I’ve added the pointer showing where the cell phone tower is in relation to the rest of the plan.
The neighbors right across the street on Picholine fit in that zone already.
I wonder if the neighbors on Picholine Way were ever told of the nature of that tower? I wonder if they even care? Since the cell phone transmitters have been there about 15 years now, I wonder how many of the neighbors are suffering from debilitating health issues as is claimed by some detractors of the Elks Lodge cell tower?
‘Tis a quandary for sure.
UPDATE- It turns out New Urban Builders has purhcased the tower property, see comments.