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Cell phone tower bill defeated

March 21, 2002|BY LAURA ERNDE

ANNAPOLIS - A bill intended to alert citizens when cell phone towers are proposed has been defeated by a Maryland House of Delegates panel.

Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, said his bill became too complicated after he tried to address concerns raised by the Maryland Association of Counties.

Shank had wanted property owners requesting zoning changes to notify any neighbors covered by land preservation easements.

That way, if a cell phone tower was proposed near protected land, as several recently were in southern Washington County, residents would have plenty of notice to protest if they wished.

"There needs to be a systematic approach to doing this," Shank said.

The idea for the bill came from Tom Clemens of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation.

Some counties worried that the legislation would increase their workload. Although Shank had accepted changes they had proposed to the legislation, the bill was killed by the House Economic Matters Committee.

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Shank said, even without the legislation, he will continue to keep a close watch for future cell phone tower proposals.

"As long as I'm here I'm going to fight against any type of project that's going to hurt a state investment," he said.

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