COLUMBIA, S.C. — A T-Mobile cell phone tower could be built in the Rosewood neighborhood, that's if it gets approval from the Columbia Board of Zoning Appeals.
Two years after an original proposal, Optima Towers, who is designing the tower, went back to the drawing board to proposal a tower that residents would be comfortable with.
The reason for the tower is to increase cell phone service for T-Mobile customers.
"This will give you a better chance of your call not being dropped," says Columbia City Councilman Moe Baddourah who represents the Rosewood neighborhood. "It's a matter of safety."
The proposed tower would sit behind a business in the 3600 block of Rosewood drive and would stand 100 feet tall. Representatives with Optima Towers say they also designed the tower to blend in with the trees in the area, similar to the 130 foot tower along Beltline Blvd.
However, residents were not impressed with the proposal and didn't see much change.
"Believe it or not, there's not that many changes," says Michele Huggins. "I highly suggest that they do a brick fence around it because a wooden fence is not acceptable and could be easily destroyed. "
"We believe that the cell phone tower brings down the aesthetics of the neighborhood," says Marty Fort, owner of the Columbia Arts Academy that sits directly beside the proposed location. "We believe it brings down property value."
Fort says he's created a petition against the tower.
"We're not opposed to cell phone service," says Fort. "We're not opposed to infrastructure. What we are opposed to is location. They want to put this in the back yard of a quarter acre 1950's home."
Representatives with T-Mobile and Optima Towers say this is the best location for the tower, as owners of other proposed locations were not interested in having the tower on their property.
While it will be a T-Mobile tower other cell phone providers could add antennas in the future.
The Columbia Board of Zoning Appeals will hold a hearing about the cell tower on May 14, 2019.