By Sam Robinson
The Westfield Advisory Plan Commission voted unanimously on June 15 to approve construction of a 120-foot AT&T cellphone tower that will be constructed at the southeast corner of 146th Street and Oak Ridge Road.
The commission voted on the condition that AT&T commits with the City of Westfield to fly an American flag at the top of the tower at all times. Once an agreement is signed, Westfield would mandate that AT&T fly a flag at all times, and that it conform to all federal flag codes.
The tower in question will be designed as a ‘stealth pole,’ which is supposed to look more like a flag pole than a cell tower. City Council member Steve Hoover (District 2) proposed that a flag be flown from the tower at the APC public hearing on June 1.
Kevin Todd, the Senior Planner in the Westfield Economic and Community Development Department, said that AT&T went “above and beyond what the ordinance requires.”
Todd also said that the commission received several email letters from citizens wanting the flag to conform to federal laws, which requires a flag to be lit at all times.
“I think that will make a big difference for the community,” Hoover said. “I didn’t hear anything negative regarding that from neighbors. It makes it more palatable.”
Some community members opposed the tower on June 1. The tower will sit on the border of Westfield and Carmel, and some residents of both cities think it could collapse or emit harmful radio waves. The property borders an athletic field owned by Our Lady of Mount Carmel church and school, and it also borders a natural gas pumping station.
Construction will begin sometime after AT&T commits in writing to amending its design plans to include a flag and its necessary lighting.