Canton residents oppose proposed cell tower

Posted at 6:16 PM, Jan 08, 2016

Residents living across the site of a proposed cell phone tower are hoping to garner enough pushback to stop the project.

"It would be a blight. A definite blight," said Canton resident Phyllis Johnson.

Verizon Wireless is proposing to build the 120-foot tower behind the Abundant Life Church of God on Hannan Road, and said it will solve its service gap near Palmer and Hannan.

Johnson and several of her neighbors who live across the street said the tower would be an eyesore. They are concerned it could be a threat to public health, nearby wetlands, and their property values.

“We have citizens that have come forward and told us, if this thing goes through, we’re selling. We’re getting out of here," said Jim Rubasky, president of the Westland Homeowners Committee.

Dan Smitherman, senior pastor at Abundant Life Church of God, said leasing property to Verizon would be a huge help for their weekly food pantry.

"It will help us expand it to do home deliveries for people who can’t get out and that are in need of food," he said.

Rubasky said 145 people in Canton, Westland, and Wayne signed a petition opposing the tower and they're planning to ask the township board to stop Verizon a second time. Last July, the board rejected the company's proposal to build the tower on township land north of the church.

"It's a tightrope that we have to walk. We have to serve the community but on the same hand we don’t want to offend the community or hurt the community," Smitherman said.

"The goal is no," Rubasky said. "Capital N-O cell tower and we will fight this till our last breath," he added.

The proposal was originally on the agenda for Monday's planning commission meeting. Canton Township Supervisor Phil LaJoy said the matter will be tabled until sometime February or March.