FCC, Chimayo Residents Threaten Property Rights

Federal Communications Commission representative Stephen DelSordo will be making an appearance at the Chimayo Elementary School gymnasium Wednesday, March 26, at 6:30 pm to discuss possible infringements of historical preservation made by a T-Mobile cell phone tower erected over two years ago, according to The New Mexican (Meeting set over cell tower, Tom Sharpe, Mar. 25, 2008).
Rio Arriba County ordinances regulate only towers more than 70 feet tall. The constructed tower is exactly 70 feet tall, but local residents are still urging for the FCC, which they believe is responsible for historic preservation in matters of communication tower placement, to review possible omissions of historic sites in T-Mobile’s application. After the tower’s construction, concerned residents formed a coalition known as Chimayo’s Council on Wireless Technology, which, in an open letter to the Rio Arriba County Commission, was successful in implementing a nine month moratorium in 2006 in order to study wireless emissions and change county ordinances accordingly.
Aside from the supposed desecration of historical sites, the Council on Wireless Technology claims “such towers can cause cancers, leukemia, heart disorders, immunological deterioration, sleep disruptions, anxiety, seizures, etc.” and “disrupt the ability of wildlife to function and cause disease in domestic animals.” Sounds a little bit like the X-Files to me and the Food and Drug Administration agrees.
The tower is the only one in the area that can provide service to T-Mobile and AT&T cell phone users. Did I mention that the tower is located on privately owned property? Local residents and free market advocates are encouraged to attend the meeting. Come to think of it, I haven’t been feeling the same since I used my wireless Internet connection this morning.

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