In a 7 – 2 vote, the Naperville City Council recently chose to allow construction of a 130-foot Verizon cell tower on the Springbrook Golf Course.
Some community members and council members worry the tower will hurt the aesthetic of the area.
“We need to keep those open spaces that we have as pure as we can, and [for] Springbrook Prairie the result of what a cell tower would do to those vistas I think would be a real detriment,” Councilwoman Rebecca Boyd-Obarski said.
But Mayor Steve Chirico says while placing a tower next to the prairie might not be desirable, other locations won’t work.
“But I think it’s clear at this point there are none that are better, and so we need to be able to provide these services to our residents,” Chirico said.
Councilwomen Becky Anderson and Rebecca Boyd-Obarski voted against construction of the tower.
Also at the council meeting, some residents expressed continued opposition to the Fifth Avenue Development process.
“It’s not too late. Naperville is not in a state of emergency. There is no rush,” resident Sandee Whited said.
The council is moving forward with the creation of a steering committee and specialized working groups to help guide the community development process with Ryan Companies.
Some council members were concerned with language in the description that the steering committee would not be a decision-making body.
“It almost sounds like they’re there to be heard and not listened to,” Councilman Paul Hinterlong said.
But city staff addressed concerns saying the committee would act as an advisory board.
“I envision that table having those internal debates and ultimately we will be then informing Ryan Companies, ‘Ok, this is where we are in the process. These are the issues that are struggling out in the community, so let’s toss that around with us,” said Councilwoman Rebecca Boyd-Obarski.
Council voted unanimously to create a steering committee that comprises two city council members, two city staff members, two Ryan Companies representatives, five area residents, one commuter, one Naperville Area Homeowners representative, one senior task force representative and Mayor Emeritus George Pradel.
The steering committee members can be chosen through a local caucus for each represented group, and the group can choose whether to have guidance from city staff for that process.
Naperville News 17’s Beth Bria reports.
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