Members of MVLC gathered in the Sanctuary on Sunday 2/9/2020, immediately after the second worship service, for a Special Meeting of the Congregation. The purpose was to vote on approving a cell phone tower on the MVLC campus.

President of the Congregation Carol Powers provided a brief history of how we arrived at this point, including a November 2019 informational meeting, responding to feedback of congregational members, and considering various locations for placement of the tower.

The following motion was made and seconded: Should the congregation of Mountain View Lutheran Church approve the design, location, and installation of a cell tower on Mountain View Lutheran Church property as shown in simulated photos for Alt #2 from Tilson Technology? This approval includes authorizing the Church Council to negotiate the terms and conditions of a contract with Verizon Wireless pertaining to the cell tower.

During discussion, questions were asked, which included the following:

  • Q: What will the rental income be? A: $1,200 per month.
  • Q: Do the city and neighbors still have to approve the tower, even if MVLC votes for approval? A: Yes. The City of Edgewood will likely hold a public hearing and will still need to approve the permitting of the project.
  • Q: Is there a limit on the height of the tower? A: Yes. It will included in the contract and any changes would have to be approved.
  • Q: What about access/vandalism concerns. A: The contract should address most of these concerns.
  • Q: Have we checked with other churches/congregations that host cell phone towers on their property? A: Yes.
  • Q: How is the annual increase in the income computed? A: The percentage is spelled out in the contract.
  • Q: Have other locations on campus been considered? A: Yes, but none of them were as suitable, for various reasons, as the location east of the Chapel.
  • Q: Are there any zoning issues? A: None that we know of, since the cell phone tower is not occupiable space.
  • Q: Will Verizon be using our utilities or affecting our septic systems? A: No. They have to restore anything they disrupt. The cell phone tower will have its own utilities, for which Verizon will cover the costs. 

We are not yet at the point of signing the contract. We’ve had many conversations and will continue to do so.

The vote was take by written ballot. 110 approve; 22 reject; 2 abstain; 1 invalid.

The motion passed.

The meeting adjourned.