Cell towers pondered in historic Raleigh neighborhoods


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Whether it’s talking, texting or email, we’re more connected than ever.

As Raleigh grows, so does the pressure to keep up. The city recently got its first two applications to put cell phone towers in historic districts.

“I don’t like the way they look. I think we’ve got plenty of other areas we could have them in,” said Anthony Casaletto, who lives in Raleigh.

The two under consideration are 37 feet tall. One would be installed at 150 East Lane Street near the Executive Mansion. The other would go at 200 East Martin Street at Moore Square.

The Raleigh Historic Development Commission has a Certificate of Appropriateness Committee, which heard from George Sipek with Fiber Technologies Networks, LLC. The company is based in Rochester, New York.

Sipek explained that unlike larger towers, these would be for an individual wireless provider. “Because of the placement of the antenna and the radio gear on the pole,” he explained.

That means more towers could be necessary as more people move into the city and more providers try to keep up with demand, he said.

“Then we’re going to be adding these that might be in the middle of every block if every carrier wants one,” said Don Davis, a member of the Raleigh Historic Development Commission.

The committee approved the two applications for the towers, but the company still will need to get approval from the city. It’s unclear what the timeline of that will be.

Melissa Mason, who lives in Historic Oakwood, said, “It’s got its own character. A lot of people are very concerned about preserving that, and I get that. So, I can kind of see why you wouldn’t want to put it in a historic district.”

The commission is trying to come up with uniform standards for the towers as more companies seek to build them.

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