Real estate devalued when cell towers are erected.

August 27, 2010.  Cell antennas and towers near homes affect property values says Andrew J. Campanelli.

PictureOn August 27, 2010,  The New York Times published an article about a lawsuit against a cell phone provider.

It has started a chain reaction that might have some some real estate agents “thinking”….buy high, erect a tower = sell low…

TINA CANARIS, an associate broker and a co-owner of RE/MAX Hearthstone in Merrick, has a $999,000 listing for a high ranch on the water in South Merrick, one of a handful of homes on the block on the market. But her listing has what some consider a disadvantage: a cell antenna poking from the top of a telephone pole at the front of the 65-by-100-foot lot.

“Even houses where there are transformers in front” make “people shy away,” Ms. Canaris said. “If they have the opportunity to buy another home, they do.” She said cell antennas and towers near homes affected property values, adding, “You can see a buyer’s dismay over the sight of a cell tower near a home just by their expression, even if they don’t say anything.”

By blocking, or seeking to block, cell towers and antennas over the course of the last year, Island homeowners have given voice to concerns that proximity to a monopole or antenna may not be just aesthetically unpleasing but also harmful to property values. Many also perceive health risks in proximity to radio frequency radiation emissions, despite industry assertions and other evidence disputing that such emissions pose a hazard.

The Federal Communications Act of 1996 says health concerns are not a valid reason for a municipality to deny zoning for a cell tower or antenna. Property values and aesthetics, however, do qualify, according to the act. Cell tower activists are now targeting their efforts to prove real estate property values depreciate after the installation of a cell tower.  It might be surprising to soon learn that instead of doctors and scientists who testify in court as to the negative health effects of microwave radiation – real estate agents hold the most power in court to hold up the erection of a cell tower.

Andrew J. Campanelli, a civil rights lawyer in Garden City, said a group of residents had hired him to oppose the cellular company’s application. “They were worried about the property values,” Mr. Campanelli said. “If your home is near a cell antenna, the value of your property is going down at least 4 percent. Depending on the size of the tower and the proximity, it is going down 10 percent.”

Here are some links to websites that show devaluation of real estate from cell towers.

Industry Canada
Burbank ACTION (Against Cell Towers In Our Neighborhood)