A public hearing will be held by the Fort Wayne Board of Zoning Appeals on Thursday, January 31, 2008.  Of interest is a proposed Cell Phone Tower to be built at 1427 Broadway which is the IUEW Local 901 Hall.  The tower would be 180 feet tall and rise to the West of the GE Sign.  The staff of the Board of Zoning Appeals has recommended the request be denied.

Click on the above photo for a larger resolution of the image

Click on the above photo for a larger resolution of the image.
The above image was taken January 23, 2008 from the Lincoln Tower Observation Deck.

The Board will conduct the public hearing in Room #126, 1st floor, City County Building, One East Main Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana on Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 6:00 p.m. Any person needing special accommodations in order to participate are to contact the Citizens’ Advocate Office at 427-1111.  Agenda.

From a photographer’s stand point, this would dramatically alter any photos taken in the area with the addition of a tower.   From a personal stand point, is it necessary for the tower to be placed at that spot?  There are lots of vacant lots around downtown that could house such a site.  I wonder if it’s really needed?  Almost every tall building in the downtown has some kind of cell phone/communication infrastructure on it.  I live downtown.  I have NEVER had a problem with reception.

From my understanding of the situation, it would not fit in with a plan the West Central Neighborhood and City of Fort Wayne developed for the area.  If this tower would be allowed to develop, it would send a loud, clear message to the community that plans aren’t worth much more than the paper they are printed on.  This situation comes on the heals of the new Subway Sandwiches shop being constructed on the Southeast corner of the Clinton Street and Jefferson Boulevard intersection.  This building clearly does not follow previously adopted guidelines as it resides back from the sidewalks and is rumored to include a drive-thru.  Read this previous AFW post.

From Joe Silva, a resident of the West Central Neighborhood:

As a homeowner in West Central, I encourage everyone interested in opposing granting a special use variance which will block the view of GE neon sign on Broadway.  The variance is to allow construction of a 180 Foot telecommunications tower in the GE union hall parking lot.  The hearing is set for Thursday, January 31st at 6 P.M. in room 126 in the City-County building.

This is a historical significant location.

The following criteria must be disputed or the variance is approved:

The public convenience and welfare will be substantially served:

NO, The private concerns of a telecommunications business will be served

The proposed use will not be unduly detrimental to the surrounding area:

YES, it will serve as an eyesore in the sightline of the GE sign, one of the few treasures in this area.

The nature, location, size and site layout of the use will be compatible with the immediate area:

NO, it is not compatible with the area — the location is ill-placed, the size is NOT compatible and will only serve as monster eye-sore.

Vehicular traffic to and from the proposed use will not create undue hazards to normal traffic in the vicinity of the request:

OK, maybe we should give them that one.

The proposed use does not conflict with the Comprehensive Plan or any other plan duly adopted by the Fort Wayne Common Council or the Plan Commission:

UNCERTAIN, Does this fall in line with West Central Neighborhood standards adopted by the FWCC or the Plan Commission? I do not know.

The huge tower would definitely be an eyesore, and it would block the line of sight of the GE sign. Think about the towers you see as you drive around. Is that what we want in our revitalization of the downtown?

The Broadway Corridor is to be a “Gateway” area as designated by the Harrison Square sub-plan. Here is what the sub-plan says about the anticipated “Gateways:”

“Beautification of these primary gateways into downtown and the Harrison Square will enhance circulation, access, and the experience of entering downtown.”

Wouldn’t it just be a “wonderful” sight driving into downtown from Broadway and seeing a stark tower rising 180 feet in the air – the most out-of-place structure imaginable in that part of the town.

PLEASE ATTEND THE VARIANCE HEARING ON THURSDAY.  THANK YOU

Also of interest, read the Variance sought for cell phone tower near the GE sign post and discussion at Fort Wayne Observed.

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