Home Cherry Hill News Swim club members concerned over possible cell phone tower

Swim club members concerned over possible cell phone tower

The possibility of a cell phone tower on the Fox Hollow Swim Club’s property has raised concerns for members of the club and residents in the area.

The swim club, which is located on Partridge Lane, says AT&T has a need for a wireless telecommunications facility and believes it is the best site for the facility, the club’s Facebook page said.

According to the club’s Facebook, it is the best site because the location allows the company to upgrade the service for the entire area and it has the least impact of any potential site.

Fox Hollow Swim Club President Tim O’Connor couldn’t be reached for comment.

According to resident Margaret Krzeminski-Pacuku, who has organized a petition against the tower, the club notified club members of a vote for the project two weeks ahead of time.

The club attached a proxy vote form to the email, Krzeminski-Pacuku said.

“The nine-member board was looking for 25 votes, a quarter of the active membership,” she said. “They got 35 votes. I never thought there was a chance that my neighbors would vote for a cell phone tower in a million years.”

According to Krzeminski-Pacuku, the club bylaws don’t allow for a proxy vote, but the club sent it anyway.

“I’m questioning the validity of the vote. Procedurally, the bylaws don’t allow proxy vote and they still sent it,” Krzeminski-Pacuku said, adding she is “unsure of how many people actually saw the email.”

According to Krzeminski-Pacuku, the email wasn’t tagged with any urgency.

Krzeminski-Pacuku requested information from the club, which is supposed to be made available to members — the “only people the board needs to answer to.”

She requested copies of correspondence from AT&T and the club, meeting minutes from the July 17 meeting and the last three years of financial reports.

“I’m entitled to the information, it’s in their bylaws,” Krzeminski-Pacuku said.

She is still waiting for a response.

According to Krzeminski-Pacuku, the petition serves to put pressure on the club to halt the project from moving forward or to sever the relationship with AT&T.

Krzeminski-Pacuku speculates the club will be provided a monetary advance when it submits a zoning application with the township.

As of the press date, the petition has 357 signatures.

Residents have reached out to the township for assistance, without success.

According to Bridget Palmer, township communications director, the swim club has yet to file an application to build on the property, leaving the township without much information to formally assist them.

“The township found out through residents who were concerned because they heard the club was voting on building a tower on the property,” Palmer said. “Without a proper application, there isn’t much we can do.”

According to the petition website, if the cell tower is built, a precedent is set for cell towers in every Cherry Hill neighborhood with a swim club or a school with institutional zoning.

Moreover, once built, more telecommunications companies can co-locate to the tower in the future.

Concerned residents have taken the movement on foot to spread information on the issue, going door-to-door and handing out fliers.

“We’ve had a wonderful success rate. Nine times out of 10, residents are hearing the news from us. Even as late as [last] Friday, people are hearing the news from us about the tower,” Krzeminski-Pacuku said.

The petition website lists numerous health and safety hazards should the tower be built, in addition to how it will affect property values.

“I think they got sloppy. They have three lawyers on their board, so I know they’re following the law — but I think they’re doing what AT&T is telling them,” Krzeminski-Pacuku said.

For now, residents will continue their effort to stop any action between the swim club and AT&T.

Information on the cause can be found on their website, fohosaysno.com; Facebook, www.facebook.com/nocellphonetowerinfoxhollow; and through signing the petition at www.change.org/petitions/fox-hollow-swim-club-no-cell-phone-tower-in-fox-hollow-cherry-hill-nj?utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition.

“We’re trying to end it before it goes to vote,” Krzeminski-Pacuku said. “It’s going to tear apart our neighborhood. It’s neighbor versus neighbor at this point.
“When 35 of your neighbors vote for a cell phone tower in your neighborhood, it makes you mad.”

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