CPD wants 150-foot cell towers

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Nov 8, 2007
Chicago police want City Council to allow 150-foot cell towers to improve communication
Share | Posted by Hal Dardick and John Byrne at 5:30 p.m.

Fifteen-story cellular towers would sprout up next to police stations and firehouses around Chicago under a plan the City Council Zoning Committee endorsed today to allow for clearer communication among police officers and firefighters.

If approved by the full council, the towers would reach 150 feet. That's 30 feet higher than the 120 feet city law currently allows in most places. The exceptions are areas zoned for manufacturing and transportation, where 150-foot towers are already allowed.

The proposed change would allow the taller towers outside manufacturing and transportation zones only for public safety uses. Officials said the extra height would improve radio communications in neighborhoods with dense tree cover or other obstructions.

Police officials testified the taller towers are necessary to ensure strong wireless signals between officers on patrol and their area dispatchers.

The taller structures would go up next to the Town Hall District and Monroe District police headquarters buildings, as well as the new Engine Co. 109 firehouse at 2343 S. Kedzie Ave., according to Kevin Smith, spokesman for the city Public Building Commission.

"Similar such towers will likely be a part of future public safety projects," Smith said in an e-mail.

Zoning Committee Chairman Ald. Daniel Solis, 25th, said he supports the taller towers because he’s in favor of anything that helps advance public safety.

“They will be able to get clearer and better picture and sound because they are higher,” Solis said.

Clout St: Chicago police want City Council to allow 150-foot cell towers to improve communication
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