Board of Appeals approves cell tower on Woodbine farm

The Howard County Board of Appeals Monday, Nov. 14, in a 4-0 vote, granted T-Mobile's petition to put a cell phone tower on a 10-acre farm located off Daisy Road in Woodbine, despite objections from the Concerned Citizens of Western Howard County.

"I've given much deliberation to this case, and I believe that the petitioner has complied with all the requirements of these zoning regulations," acting board Chairman Henry Eigles said.

Board Chairman James Walsh was not present because he had recused himself from the case.

The tower T-Mobile was allowed to construct is to be 127.5-feet tall and disguised as a silo. Despite recommendations from the Department of Planning and Zoning and the hearing examiner, the antenna will be located outside of the tower, which T-Mobile said is necessary for structural reasons.

Theodore Mariani, who represented the Concerned Citizens of Western Howard County in opposition to T-Mobile's proposal, said he is disappointed in the board's decision.

"I thought we put on a fairly decent case," he said. "It's very difficult for the citizens to fight against these things when the regulations are so loose."

Asked if he plans to appeal the decision to Circuit Court, Mariani said: "I have to talk with the community. … If they're really upset, we might appeal it."

Mariani said the tower will be visible from the historic Oakdale property in Woodbine where he lives. Given the impact the tower would have on his property, he said he may appeal the decision if the concerned citizens group does not.

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