Donelson Residents Fight Proposed Cell Tower

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Donelson Residents Fight Proposed Cell Tower

CREATED May 21, 2014
by Emily Luxen

DONELSON, Tenn. – Some Donelson residents are fighting to keep an unwelcome addition out of their neighborhood.

Nashville & Eastern Railroad Corp. has planned to build a 120 foot tall cell tower in the 2700 block of Bluefields Avenue. The site is near homes in the Bluefields neighborhood.

President Bill Drunsic said the project is necessary to upgrade communications for railroad operations. He said the tower would be surrounded by 50-60 foot tall trees to minimize the visual impact.

However, those who live nearby aren’t happy about the plan. 

“When a cell tower goes into a subdivision property values decline at least 10 percent,” said Joe Siejakowski, a Bluefields resident who lives just feet from the proposed cell tower. “This will be a huge problem for Metro, and all the homeowners we have here.”

Peter Beare, Vice-President of the Bluefields Homeowners Association, said Bluefields is known for its well-maintained historic homes, and friendly neighbors. He worries the cell tower will not only change the look of the quaint neighborhood, but discourage new residents and businesses from moving to the area.

“It is really going to destroy the historic aspect of this neighborhood,” said Beare. “This is people’s homes, lives, investments and time on the line here.”

Beare and Siejakowski have helped spearhead an opposition effort to the project. The neighborhood has held meetings to educate people about the tower, reached out to state and local lawmakers, and started an online petition that already has over 200 signatures.

“I think when you see something that is wrong, regardless if it’s wrong at the local level or federal level, you have to stand up and say this is wrong and we can do something about this,” said Beare.

Since the proposed site is on federally owned railway land, the project doesn't have to meet Metro codes.

“We need this to go forward,” said Drunsic.

He added the company is in the process submitting final permit applications. Construction on the cell tower is expected to begin in 6 months to a year.

Neighbors vowed to keep fighting. They have planned a community meeting to discuss the project June 14th from 6-8 p.m. at 2427 Bluefield Avenue to help educate people about the issue.

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