A "stealth tower" planned for the city of Powell wasn't stealthy enough to avoid notice by residents.

The proposed cell tower on land within Arbor Ridge Park, 500 Bennett Parkway, will be on the agenda for discussion in a special, remote meeting of Powell's development committee, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 21.

The meeting will be held via Zoom. Residents who would like to join are asked to call the city at 614-885-5380.

The proposal, which has received attention among residents on social media, was discussed at the May 5 meeting of the committee. Councilman Brian Lorenz, who leads the committee, requested the matter be carried over for additional discussion.

The 130-foot-tall tower is proposed by TowerCo on behalf of Verizon.

TowerCo CEO Todd Boyer called the design a "stealth tower" that could be built to resemble a structure such as a barn silo or church tower.

Lorenz said the company is willing to discuss both a lease agreement and a land swap with the city but cautioned that no formal application for the project, which is still in its early stages, has been filed.

"(The) development committee's responsibility is to review proposals from a conceptual basis, not to make a decision or determination," Lorenz said.

"This is a conceptual request, not a negotiation of terms," City Manager Andrew White told committee members May 5, explaining that, following committee discussion, the matter likely would go before the city's board of zoning appeals if an application is filed.

Boyer said the city is in need of additional cell service, especially with so many more people working and schooling from home.

"We have heard from folks there are issues with reception," White said. "Is the value of improved reception offset? That's the conversation we need to have."

Councilwoman Melissa Riggins asked if there might not be a better site for the tower.

"Because the land is owned by the city, it could be a revenue generator," Lorenz told ThisWeek Olentangy Valley News. "But there are a lot of health, safety and welfare concerns to be addressed.

"It's about balancing those things against the need for that kind of infrastructure," he said.

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