By Chris Cornwall
Amid growing opposition from nearby homeowners, the Hendricks County Board of Zoning Appeals on Tuesday, Jan. 22,
postponed voting on a proposal from Skyway Towers and GTE Mobilnet to build a 150-foot cell phone tower in Avon. The board voted for a 90-day continuance to allow alternative sites to be considered.
Expecting the board to address the cell tower, a crowd of nearly 100 residents gathered for the meeting, many of which live near the proposed site. It lies on a two-acre strip of land south of E. US Hwy. 36 and west of S. Ronald Reagan Parkway.
If constructed, the base of the tower would be less than 100 feet from the home of 15-year resident, Stephanie Paluchniak. That would put her in what insurance analysts would call the “fall zone,” along with four more of her neighbors.
“A home is an investment, and when you are living in boundaries where there is no guidance and no zoning to protect your residents, then why would you want to stay?” she asked. “Mentally, it’s exhausting. Emotionally, it’s sickening. And this could happen to anyone.”
Since she learned of the proposal, Paluchniak has been a catalyst behind the opposition. She has knocked on doors, spent hours researching, and worked with local media to get the word out.
To aid the homeowners, officials from the town of Plainfield are looking into alternative tower sites.
“To know your community is backing you is huge,” Paluchniak said.
With the board’s decision extend the deadline, and support from leaders in Plainfield, Paluchniak is cautiously optimistic.
“Inside I feel like we’ve won. But we still have to wait for 90 days and wonder if the tower will be built.”