Some Riverton residents concerned new cell tower will block their view of the Wasatch Mountains

Posted at 10:37 PM, Sep 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-13 09:18:57-04

RIVERTON, Utah -- Some people who live in Riverton are upset with a new AT&T cell tower that will be constructed at Monarch Meadows Park, and they gathered to voice those concerns at a public meeting Thursday night.

The issue has reinvigorated a larger debate about the importance of preserving nature despite the large of amount of people moving to Utah.

Shelly Rieck, who has lived in Riverton for 15 years, argued that the development will pollute the city’s view of the Wasatch Mountains and lower property values.

“The building in that area is just ridiculous. It’s gotten too much. There’s too many people. Our roads are constantly being torn up. I mean, there’s just not a lot of land. They’re going to just build it out until there’s nothing left,” she said. “I’m not against the tower itself, I just think they need to build it in a different area that’s not so residential.”

A representative with AT&T said the location at Monarch Meadows Park is ideal for the company’s “first responder network.”

Councilmembers on the city’s planning commission said they understood the importance of preserving views of nature within the city, but ultimately voted 2-1 in favor of moving forward with the project.

Some councilmembers discussed “disguising” the cell tower as a tree, to blend in with nature, but the plan never came to a vote. Instead the cell tower will be installed without additional decoration.

“I send pictures to my family all the time that live across the United States,” Rieck said, crying. “When they see the pictures, they say, ‘We can’t believe that’s your backyard view. Are you sure that’s your backyard view?’ and I say, ‘Yes, I’m in my backyard!’ and now I won’t be able to send them pictures like that anymore, or I’ll have to change the way that I angle the camera because I don’t want them to see that. That would be sad… I will be broken hearted. I will be broken hearted for the people in the park.”