Tampa Bay Residents Unite Against 195-Foot Cell Tower Proposal


Tampa Bay residents in Northwest Hillsborough County are joining forces to oppose the construction of a towering 195-foot cell phone tower in their neighborhood. Proposed to be camouflaged, the tower’s intended location on the northwest corner of the Philippine Cultural Enrichment Complex.

Recently, at a county land-use hearing, dozens of concerned citizens from the neighboring Waterchase community, dressed in red, voiced their opposition to the tower’s placement. Their grievances ranged from public safety concerns to potential impacts on property values, with many residents fearing drastic changes to their community’s landscape.

Leading the charge, resident Mike Haleas emphasized how the proposed tower would alter the scenic views of their neighborhood. Adding to the chorus of dissent, Hillsborough County Commission Chair Ken Hagan raised concerns about the tower’s proximity to Nine Eagles Drive, highlighting potential risks to public safety in the event of a collapse obstructing the roadway.

Despite these concerns, Skyway Towers LLC, aiming to construct the tower on behalf of T-Mobile for enhanced 5G coverage in the area, argued the necessity of the project for bolstering network capacity. According to T-Mobile engineer Byron Elkins, the towering structure is essential to provide the increased coverage demanded by modern wireless communication needs.

As the county’s land-use hearing officer deliberates on the matter, residents remain steadfast in their opposition, hoping for a decision that prioritizes community well-being over commercial interests.

Watch: Full Land Use Hearing Officer – 3.25.24 by Hillsborough County Meetings