Opponents of the tower also have the right to appeal its construction in Washington County Circuit Court, Downey said.
Ralph Young, a member of the Historic Advisory Committee, an organization that advises Washington County officials on conservation of historic structures, said Thursday he wasn't sure whether Friends of Fort Frederick, an organization dedicated to preserving the fort, would appeal.
Steve Wood, president of Friends of Fort Frederick, could not be reached for comment.
Young, who also was superintendent at the park from 1989 to 2005, said he was disappointed that the zoning appeals board approved the tower's construction.
The fort, which was built in the 18th century and served as Maryland's frontier defense during the French and Indian War, allows visitors to "travel back in time," Young said. The sight of a cell phone tower could ruin that experience, he said.
"As far as I'm concerned, Fort Frederick is a treasure," Young said. "It's the absolute best pristine fort of its kind."
Downey said the tower, which would be 0.88 miles from the fort, would not be visible to visitors.
"Several trees will provide a buffer between the tower and the fort," Downey said.
The tower would not be lighted because the Federal Aviation Administration does not require lights on towers that are less than 200 feet high, Downey said.
Tom Riford, president and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the tower could have an adverse effect on tourism. Last year, about 95,000 people visited the fort, he said.
"Once it gets built, it's going to change some of the things we expect from the Fort Frederick experience," Riford said. "If it has a negative impact on tourism, that would be a shame."
Daniel DiVito, director of the Washington County Department of Permits and Inspections, said that to his knowledge, Vista PCS LLC hasn't applied for permits at this point.