Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Rolling Over (Minutes) in their Graves

Mobile phone service provider T-Mobile plans to put a 130-foot tower in Shalom Memorial Park, the Jewish section of non-sectarian Forest Hills Cemetery near Northeast Philadelphia. They will, of course, disguise it to look like a fake tree, but I gather that these fake trees aren't very convincing.

T-Mobile is currently trying to use cemeteries for tower locations in several cities, probably because the residents aren't in any position to complain and the owners are happy to take the lucrative lease contracts. T-Mobile currently seeking to place towers in Holyhood Cemetery in Massachusetts and Manoa Chinese Cemetery in Hawaii. The plan at Shalom Memorial Park, however, seems to have generated more controversy than the other plans, with hostile protests at the zoning board meetings to address the plan. Initially, it appears that the objections were primarily directed at the light and noise generated by a tower, but at yesterday's zoning board meeting included testimony from religious leaders concerned about the desecration of the cemetery.

The board has not yet reached a decision. There will be further hearings in October.

The following news links worked at the time I posted this article, but may be taken down at any time: