Centennial Hills cellphone tower loss bigger part of ongoing war

It’s finally over for Linda Winslow.

The 68-year-old’s push to block Centennial Hills’ newest cellphone tower started early this year when she and a handful of Elkhorn-Ponderosa subdivision residents lodged the first of many formal complaints at the idea of an 80-foot-tall tower looming over their back porches, dragging down their property values and, some argue, interfering with their pacemakers.

It ended several months and more than 280 petition signatures later, with Clark County Commissioners’ Nov. 20 adoption of a special-use permit to allow the reception pole’s construction near Elkhorn Road and North Tenaya Way.

Winslow has run out of appeals to fight the tower and said she doesn’t see any recourse to stop its groundbreaking early next year.

She said in some ways, last month’s unceremonious defeat at the hands of the county zoning board came as a relief.

“Once I take something on, I see it through,” Winslow said. “So this was a very disappointing outcome.

“I’ve fought lots of things in my life, but I just had to give this up — put it aside, for my own health and sanity.”

Winslow and other tower opponents — many of whom live within a few hundred yards of the future tower site — started on warpath at the Lone Mountain Citizens Advisory Council, which eventually advised against the tower.

They weren’t able to carry that momentum to the county Planning Commission, whose members sided with the tower site’s developer at a meeting Oct. 25.

The tower, which proponents say will offer improved area cellphone reception with limited impact on neighborhood sightlines, is set to sit on a 10-acre, pine tree-dotted parcel near Elkhorn-Ponderosa’s front gate.

It will be painted green, part of a “monopine” design aimed at helping the tower blend in with the existing trees, despite being a couple of stories taller.

It will also be set back at least 300 feet from existing property lines, per county code.

That’s not nearly far enough, according to Winslow.

She doesn’t see why the tower can’t be moved somewhere, anywhere else, so long as it’s well outside existing neighborhoods.

“It’s not a positive thing for property values,” she said. “What good is that 10-acre parcel now, with an 80-foot cellphone tower on it?

“Is anyone going to build on it now? Probably not.”

Elaine Larson, who joined in November’s last-ditch effort to halt tower construction, said she was disappointed, but not discouraged, in the final outcome of Elkhorn-Ponderosa residents’ lengthy petition drive.

She, Winslow and a handful of other neighborhood residents got a handful of concessions out of last month’s appeal, including a county promise to cap future cell towers at the minimum height needed to relay advanced cellphone signals.

Larson agreed that the group had lost a battle, but she plans to win the war.

“I found out that within our ZIP code, 89131, we know have 36 cellphone towers,” Larson said. “That’s more towers than we have Starbucks, and now they want to build a new (tower) at Torrey Pines (Drive) and Deer Springs (Way).

“I’ll be standing there with a picket line as soon as I get the paperwork on it.”

Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter James DeHaven at jdehaven@viewnews.com or 702-477-3839.

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