In an effort to extend digital connectivity throughout Montgomery County, MD, recent zoning rules were amended to allow antenna placement within 30 feet of a residence. The original wording had established the allowable distance as 60 feet. As WTTG-TV reports, the ordinance revision has some local residents up in arms.
“The closeness is an issue and one of my concerns is the possibility of multiple, multiple antennas. We need a better way of managing this,” said Montgomery County Executive, Marc Elrich. “People have the right to the enjoyment of their property and their neighborhood.”
In addition to reducing the acceptable distance between cell tower units and homes, Montgomery County also increased the allowable number of poles to 65,000. Protestors upset over the changes waved signage complaining about proximity, compromised property values, and phantom health concerns. Some told WTTG-TV that they felt their concerns were being ignored.
In an official response to the source, the Montgomery County Council stated, “We must embrace 5G technology if we’re going to move our country into the future. We must also ensure all residents have equitable access to technology. This is yet another tool that could help bridge the digital divide by race and ethnicity.” It is anticipated that the matter will be discussed again at next week’s council meeting.