A neighborhood group, a council member and a hospital all expressed concerns.
By ROGER G. SMITH
CITY HALL REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The city zoning appeals board isn't buying the notion that a section of Broadway near Belmont Avenue is the right place for a cell phone tower.
The board denied a request Tuesday from Alltel Communications to put a 120-foot tower on the North Side site.
The property is on Broadway and Short Street between Ford and Belmont avenues. St. Elizabeth Health Center is two blocks south of Broadway.
At issue was whether the area is considered residential.
An Alltel representative argued that the site is more a transition from the commercial area on Belmont than residential. The site is owned by a medical office and so is the surrounding property. Trees on the site would rise up 70 to 80 feet to block the view of the tower.
A neighborhood group and the city council member disagreed, however.
Leonard Schiavone, president of the North Side Citizens' Coalition, characterized the proposed site as the middle of a residential neighborhood. The coalition is trying to preserve the neighborhood and the tower would disrupt that, he said.
"It's contrary to the zoning plan and contrary to the scope and purpose of the North Side Coalition," he said.
Councilman Richard Atkinson, R-3rd, said some new housing is going up near the proposed tower site. A housing developer also is looking at putting up more in the area, he said.
"That would kill my project dead," he said.
In addition, St. Elizabeth expressed concern that the tower would affect helicopter flights that ferry patients to and from the hospital.
St. Elizabeth also said in a letter that it is seeking to redevelop the area around its grounds. The tower would hinder residential revitalization, the hospital said.
The zoning board denied Alltel's request 4-0.
Alltel wanted these variances, to reduce:
UThe minimum rear yard setback from 114 feet to 56 feet.
UThe minimum side yard setback from 75 feet to 19 feet
UThe minimum side yard setback from 10 feet to 7 feet
UThe required fence setback from 25 feet to 4 feet.
The zoning appeals board did grant variances in two other cases:
UIncreasing the maximum size from 770 square feet to 1,200 square feet for a garage at 539 Redondo Road to be built by Keith Logan.
UReducing the required front setback from 36 feet to 27 feet to enclose a porch at 1031 Wilshire Drive to be built by Ron Anderson.