Time for the Metropolitan Planning Commission to go AWAY!

August 1, 2015

I sat through a disheartening two-and-a-half hour workshop on July 29,20015 which was meant to educate the Knoxville/Knox County MPC on cell tower construction so they can (in theory) make an informed decision when considering an application. It’s disheartening when a member of the MPC (a Knoxville citizen – Mr. Clancy, I believe) declares that the Metropolitan Planning Commission does not have any latitude to DENY a cell tower application. The MPC rubber-stamps whatever the third-party consultant reports to them. Where does that leave us, the citizens that live in the neighborhoods? The consultant admits to “having installed over 3,000 towers in 22 countries”. He claims that he’s impartial although in the past 10-years, the MPC has reviewed 83 applications; six were denied; seven were withdrawn by the submitter. Five were denied in one year (2001?) then the MPC adopted a Technology Facilities Plan (Yay!). Since then, they’ve denied ONE! I just wonder how many of the five that were denied resubmitted after that and were APPROVED??

The University of Tennessee provides consulting through the Municipal Technical Advisory Service which also educates municipalities on matters such as these. However, the MPC makes a decision that affects our neighborhoods based on one “impartial” consultant’s report which is clearly slanted in-favor of the builders of these towers. On what planet is that impartial? The process is broken and needs addressed.

The FCC does not allow us to deny a cell tower over health concerns. The consultant likes to tell us that we get more RF exposure from our microwaves than we do from a cell tower. Well…I don’t run my microwave 24x7x365; the cell towers are always on. He tells us that it’s dangerous to place antennae on TVA power towers; they might fall off and into a 200 KvA power line. If that’s a possibility, shouldn’t I worry about an antenna falling off of a cell tower and striking a structure or person?

Sorry for the rant but we really need to pressure our ELECTED officials into getting in-front of this instead of playing catch-up.

Media Coverage:

WATE-TV Coverage

WBIR-TV Coverage

Knoxville News-Sentinel Article