Residents protest cell towers in Montgomery County

Cell towers that are supposed to make life easier for residents in Montgomery County are generating resentment from some. 

The detractors say the cell towers standing just feet away from their homes is frustrating. 

There are three main concerns people have with more cell towers being built: proximity to homes, property value going down, and health dangers. 

Tuesday afternoon, several Montgomery County residents stood on the county council steps voicing their concerns with the ordinance ZTA 2201.

The amendment to the zoning ordinance would reduce the distance between a cell tower and homes in residential neighborhoods from 60 feet to 30 feet. It would also allow antennas and towers to be installed on taller, wider utility poles even doubling the number of eligible poles to 65,000. 

The council has already passed ZTA 1907, which allows telecom towers 30 feet from homes through the streamlined limited use process. 

Residents feel that Montgomery County Council is ignoring them because they have sent over 400 letters trying to stop this unpopular measure from moving forward. 

The council did send FOX 5 a statement saying in part, "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."

Montgomery County to install more 5G cell phone antennas

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich sent a letter requesting the council table this zoning amendment mentioning the aesthetic of the cell towers is one of the problems. 

"The closeness is an issue and one of my concerns is the possibility for multiple, multiple antennas -- for example if one provider says they’re not going to allow co-location, you could wind up with a different tower for every single provider. And that’s ridiculous. So we need a better way of managing this," Elrich said. "People have the right to the enjoyment of their property and their neighborhood."

County council is expected to discuss this matter again on Oct. 18.