Riverside neighborhood upset by cell tower plan

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

"I'm very much against it and most of the people in Riverside are against it," said Eric Kidwell.

He's among dozens of homeowners in the Riverside neighborhood gearing up to stop an 80-foot-tall cell phone tower from going in down the street.

According to the plans, the tower would take up a 35 by 45 foot area at the NW corner of the intersection of 18th and Woodland.

"It would be an eyesore, I would think," said Shon Grow.

All the folks who live on Woodland, some of the closest to the site of the controversial tower proposal, who spoke with KAKE News agreed on one thing.

"I'm very much against it," Kidwell repeated.

Kidwell was out walking his dogs, but took a few minutes to share his concerns about the planned project.

"Safety, health, devaluation of property," he said, listing his biggest worries.  "We see what it does.  We don't need it."

Brandi and Shon Grow say they're worried about property values as well.

"It could affect property values, dropping them by about 10%, which is concerning," Brandi said.  "My husband's put a lot of work into remodeling our house and we've been trying to increase the value of our home."

According to the Wichita City Council's agenda, the tower would take some of the traffic from an overburdened T-Mobile tower at the Twin Lakes Shopping Center.  That's not enough for folks who live along Woodland.

"It's not going to benefit but some tiny portion.  So I don't know why they want to do it," Kidwell said.

The plan calls for an 8-foot solid fence around the tower and a neutral color for the tower itself.  But that's not enough for those worried about its impact on their lives.

While some told KAKE News they didn't bother protesting because they didn't think it would do any good, most said they'd at least signed a petition against the cell tower.  And they have some advice for the members of the city council.

"Do your homework, investigate what's going on, things shouldn't be slammed through," Kidwell said.