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Englewood resident pushes against 5G tower planned next to his front yard

Richard Rice stands at his property line where the base of a 5G tower was set on Monda
Posted at 10:28 PM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 02:09:30-04

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Richard Rice woke up on Monday to the sound of drilling outside of his house.

Just feet from his front door and inches from his property line, crews were drilling a 10-foot hole for a 'small cell' 5G cell phone tower.

"They had this hole done by nine in the morning. They had [the cement] dropped in there by 10," Rice said. "The city showed up at two in the afternoon."

The work remains unfinished with a paper sign that reads "Stop Work." The city is investigating the project and its permits. Rice said a permit to build the tower was never approved.

"They've got to have permission to do all this stuff," Rice said.

A small cell tower is similar in height of a light post. Because 5G towers emit cellphone signals at a much higher frequency than other signals, they cannot transmit as far, which means more of them are needed.

Experts say it is expected that 5G towers are popping up across the United States. With more towers, comes more debate from communities.

"This is an issue that is playing out just like this in every neighborhood across the entire country and actually the entire world," said Mike Dano, the editorial director of 5G & Mobile Strategies at Light Reading. "5G is different from 2G, 3G and 4G because it really does require more transmission sites."

Residents in the area also raised health concerns, though experts say the those are unfounded. Because 5G towers emit higher frequency signals, they have a harder time penetrating through the skin than even 4G or 3G signals.

"They do not penetrate buildings. They don't go through trees real well," Dano said. "It's very hard for them to get through stuff, including the human body."

But Dano said that does not mean he would want one in his front yard.

"I'm a firm believer in being in control of your neighborhood. And so if there are things happening in your neighborhood, you should know about them, and you should have some control over them," he said "That's where the city council comes in."

Rice said he plans to petition Englewood City Council to have the tower moved.

"Do you want one in your front yard?" he asked. "I certainly don't."