OMAHA (KPTM)- The Omaha Planning Board, in partnership with Central States, is looking to build a new cell phone tower near 35th and Center. But the idea of the tower isn't exactly a community favorite.
"We don't have any buildings in the neighborhood that are taller than two-stories. So when we're talking about a 12 to 15 story tower in a traditional two-story neighborhood, then it just needs to be continued as more of a discussion," said Hanscom neighborhood president, Mike Battershell.
The tower will stand 150 feet tall around this area here. That's just as tall as a 15 story building. Community leaders of the historic neighborhood say they aren't against the tower, but wonder why it has to be directly in a residential area.
Councilman Chris Jerram made a statement Tuesday, saying that "additional evaluations is appropriate before approving the installation of an intrusive and permanent cell tower at this location." Neighbors in the area couldn't agree more.
"If this site turns into a cell phone tower site, it cannot be taken down and it will never be a nice little sandwich shop or an ice cream shop or anything good for the neighborhoods, but just an eyesore," said neighbor Ian Swang.
They're also concerned about the possible health issues that may come with the addition. But those in favor of the tower say there is some good in it.
"To be honest, we get a terrible, terrible signal here in our house. So it actually wouldn't bother me one bit," said neighbor Steve Gady.
Others say there's a way to get around the unpopular eyesore.
"I don't understand why the cell phone carriers don't share. Verizon and Sprint have just fine service here. It's just AT&T and I'm sure it's a business decision. But if they shared we wouldn't be having this conversation now," said Swang.
"There's one that looks like a tree that you could drive by and you wouldn't ever notice it. You can do things that minimize visual impact on the community," said Battershell.
They're also hoping an alternate location will be considered. But until then, they would just like they're voices to be heard to save their neighborhood.
The Omaha Planning Board will hold a meeting next Wednesday to discuss the tower permit. The issue will then go to City Council for further action.