New county legislation could stop a growing trend of building cell towers on school properties across Anne Arundel.
A bill from County Councilman Jamie Benoit (D-4th District) seeks to ban new cell phone towers from being built on school grounds, and would also restrict such towers from within 500 feet of any residence.
Benoit said the logic behind his bill was that the county's code prohibits such towers within 200 feet of a school. His legislation would "clarify" that language. The code's intent, said Benoit, was to prohibit towers on school properties, as they could be a hazard if they fell.
Milestone Communications has an approved agreement with the Board of Education to build towers, paying the school system $25,000 each year per tower, according to board documents.
Such towers are currently proposed for Broadneck High School and Piney Orchard Elementary in Odenton.
The news of towers at schools has not gone unnoticed by parents, some of whom have created an opposition group— Anne Arundel County Against Cell Towers at Schools.
At the board's recent meeting, President Teresa Milio Birge said a formal proposal has yet to come from Milestone on Piney Orchard, and that there should be more discussion on the issue, according to The Capital.
A public hearing on Benoit's bill to block new towers is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Arundel Center.