SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.-- A plan for a cell phone tower is causing some concern for people in Saratoga Springs. The tower would be built directly across from the race course on land leased from a private owner.
Homeowners say they aren't too thrilled with the possible new neighbor.
Phillip Colucci has enjoyed his home across from the Saratoga Race Course for 36 years. He's not happy about the prospect of Verizon Wireless building a cell tower in the Nelson Avenue lot behind his home.
"I've heard nothing but negative things about cell towers," Colucci said.
The main hesitancy for Colucci and his neighbors comes from their uncertainty about health risks.
"I'm not an expert, I don't know if they are harmful, or if they're more harmful than the ordinary microwave that you use every day. That's one of the questions I'd like to see answered," Colucci said.
Colucci's neighbor, Austin Snow has the same concerns. "I've heard pros and cons to whether there's health consequences to these towers being around and I'd like to know more about that," Snow said.
The 90-foot tower would be shaped like a tree and positioned behind in the back of the lot. The city's zoning law would require it to be at least 45 feet from other property lines.
But Verizon has proposed putting the tower within 20 feet of the closest properties. The company would have to get special permission from the city to do that.
Aesthetically, some neighbors are less concerned.
"Aesthetically, I mean I've seen them where they've fixed them up nicely and I don't think they look horrible," Snow said.
Before Verizon gets approval, they have a number of hurdles to clear, not in the least of which is winning over neighbors.
"I have yet to talk to anybody in the neighborhood that knew about it that was in favor of it," Colucci said.