In the next year or two Verizon Communications Inc. customers within a mile radius of Colleyville Boulevard near Cheek Sparger Road will no longer have to go outside to get a strong signal on their cellular devices.
The construction of a new 95-foot-tall telecommunications tower at 4003 Colleyville Blvd. in Colleyville, which was approved April 7 by City Council, will close a significant area coverage gap which makes it nearly impossible for users to make a call inside residences or commercial buildings.
Although there are other Verizon coverage gaps in the city, Verizon spokesperson Sheryl Sellaway said the company anticipates high growth in demand for service along
SH 26/Colleyville Boulevard.
“In particular, the location of this site is a high-traffic, rapidly growing area that serves as the gateway to the city of Colleyville,” she said. “And so we believe it will be particularly beneficial to new and potential customers—residents, businesses and visitors.”
As the city continues to grow, Sellaway said it is important to make sure the network continues to grow as well because many people now solely rely on the use of their cellphones to report crimes and emergencies.
“Our goal is to provide the best, most reliable wireless service possible,” Sellaway said.
Selecting the tower’s location
Sellaway said there are many factors to consider when choosing and prioritizing sites for a network expansion.
Verizon was unable to take advantage of a shared-use/co-location opportunity because no other towers exist in the area that meet its coverage needs. TXU/Oncor towers were ruled inadequate to address the coverage needs.
In December 2013, Verizon initiated a search to find a tower location that would address coverage problems at SH 26 and Cheek Sparger. Of the viable locations, the property in use by Michael’s Keys Inc. was selected. Stephen Plyes, the site acquisition representative, said in an affidavit that the other viable property owners were either not interested, did not respond, did not meet the zoning setback requirements or were rejected by the radio frequency specialist.
Verizon has not selected a construction start date and has two years to submit a building permit from the date of approval. The engineer for the project estimates construction will take approximately six to eight weeks to complete.
To the west of the tower’s location is El Pasia Cocina Mexicana restaurant, and to the east and south it is surrounded by approximately 4 acres of undeveloped land.
Before the council approved the tower, city staff notified nine property owners within 200 feet of the property and homeowners associations within 500 feet of the proposed site. Of those notified, 57 percent were opposed.
“I’m not opposed to Colleyville getting a new telecommunication tower,” said Ward Hayworth, the property owner of the surrounding undeveloped land. “I’m opposed to the location of the tower. It’s going to dramatically limit what we can do as far as developing the land and how it will look.”
Hayworth said the land is under contract with Brand Capital Partners to build three high-end restaurants surrounding an existing pond.
“It’s not a good look for Colleyville or this south end of Colleyville Boulevard,” he said. “I don’t think [Verizon has] our best interests at heart.”
Colleyville Economic Development Director Marty Wieder, said he hopes the tower does not affect development.
“In a perfect world the tower would be located somewhere else,” he said. “It’s not much the city can do due to federal regulations, but we can decide on how we want it to look. I look forward to working with [the developer] to develop the land.”