Safe Schools for Prince George's County

Parents, Neighbors, and Students Against  Cell Towers on School Property

We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

godaddy web stats


Noise levels of cellular tower hum and onsite maintenance have been cited repeatedly as reasons to keep cell towers out of residential neighborhoods.

See what it's like to live next to a cell phone antenna

Hear the noise of a companies  wireless communication facilities.

Watch and hear the loud "refrigerator box" cell tower in action with this local KUTU-TV news report:

Wireless carriers require access for maintenance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and maintenance (often done at night) brings trucks with lifts, radios, and lights, and from a tower noise and light can propagate in all directions and affect many neighbors.

Current noise ordinances do not adequately protect neighbors that can currently sleep comfortably with open windows on a summer night.

This commercial activity is not appropriate in a residential neighborhood directly across the street from children's bedrooms.

"The courts in New York and other jurisdictions across the country have recognized that the public perception of health risks arising from proximity to an EMF may be a factor that adversely affects property values, regardless of whether the actual adverse health effects are proven."
New York State Public Service Commission
Case No. 06-T-0650
Exhibit JMO-2
Effect of the NYRIHVTL on Residential Property Values

Once Built, Towers Could be Allowed to go 20 feet  Taller!

Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Sec. 6409(a)

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed and is currently considering rules to clarify and implement the requirements of Section 6409(a) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. Under section 6409(a), “a State or local government may not deny, and shall approve, any eligible facilities request for a modification of an existing wireless tower or base station that does not substantially change the physical dimensions of such tower or base station.”  The FCC considers eligible facilities’ requests to include requests for carrier co-locations and for replacing existing antennas and ground equipment with larger antennas/equipment or more antennas/equipment.

The FCC has proposed, as part of these rules, applying a four-pronged test, which could lead to cell towers increasing in height by 20-plus feet beyond their approved construction heights.

Applying the test may also lead increases in the sizes of compounds, equipment cabinets and shelters, and hazardous materials used for back-up power supplies, beyond what was originally approved.

Under this test, a “substantial increase in the size of the tower” occurs if:
1) [t]he mounting of the proposed antenna on the tower would increase the existing height of the tower by more than 10%, or by the height of one additional antenna array with separation from the nearest existing antenna not to exceed twenty feet, whichever is greater, except that the mounting of the proposed antenna may exceed the size limits set forth in this paragraph if necessary to avoid interference with existing antennas; or  
2) [t]he mounting of the proposed antenna would involve the installation of more than the standard number of new equipment cabinets for the technology involved, not to exceed four, or more than one new equipment shelter; or
3) [t]he mounting of the proposed antenna would involve adding an appurtenance to the body of the tower that would protrude from the edge of the tower more than twenty feet, or more than the width of the tower structure at the level of the appurtenance, whichever is greater, except that the mounting of the proposed antenna may exceed the size limits set forth in this paragraph if necessary to shelter the antenna from inclement weather or to connect the antenna to the tower via cable; or
4) [t]he mounting of the proposed antenna would involve excavation outside the current tower site, defined as the current boundaries of the leased or owned property surrounding the tower and any access or utility easements currently related to the site.


The Stigma of a tower
affects not only where people will buy homes, but also where they will send their kids to school and what schools they will work at.

"Hazards and Nuisances."

Some Facts for Homeowners on HUD

 HUD requires its certified appraisers to take the presence of nearby cell towers into consideration when determining the value of a single family residential property.

HUD guidelines categorize cell towers with "hazards and nuisances." And it prohibits FHA underwriting of mortgages for homes that are within the engineered fall zone of a cell tower.

The effect of distance to cell phone towers on house prices  S Bond, Appraisal Journal, Fall 2007, Source, Appraisal Journal, found on the Entrepreneur website,

Sandy Bond, Ph.D., Ko-Kang Wang, “The Impact of Cell Phone Towers on House Prices in Residential Neighborhoods, The Appraisal Journal, Summer 2005; Source: Goliath business content website,

Sandy Bond also co-authored, "Cellular Phone Towers: Perceived impact on residents and property values" University of Auckland, paper presented at the Ninth Pacific-Rim Real Estate Society Conference, Brisbane, Australia, January 19-22, 2003; see attached. Source: Pacific Rim Real Estate Society website,

Industry Canada (Canadian government department promoting Canadian economy), “Report On the National Antenna Tower Policy Review, Section D — The Six Policy Questions, Question 6. What evidence exists that property values are impacted by the placement of antenna towers?”; see attached. Source: Industry Canadawebsite,

New Zealand Ministry for the Environment,“Appendix 5: The Impact of Cellphone Towers on Property Values”  Source: New Zealand Ministry for the Environment website,

India: Cell Towers Cause 20% Decrease in Property Value

Bond and Hugh: Proximate Impact Study

The Bond and Hue study (2004) analysed 9,514 residential home sales in 10 suburbs. The study reflected that close proximity to a Cell Tower reduced price by 15% on average.

The Bond and Wang - Transaction Based Market Study

The Bond and Wang analysed 4,283 residential home sales in 4 suburbs between 1984 and 2002. The study results showed that close proximity to a Cell Tower reduced price between 20.7% and 21%.

United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit

Upheld a denial of a Cell Tower application based upon testimony of residents and a real estate broker, who stated that the Tower would reduce the values of propertyin close proximity to the Tower.

The Bond and Beamish - Opinion Survey Study

The Bond and Beamish study involved surveying whether people who lived within 100' of a tower would have to reduce the sales price of their home. 38% said they would reduce the price by more than 20%,

38% said they would reduce the price by only 1%-9%, and 24% said they would reduce their sale price by 10%-19%.

To whom it may concern:                                                                                           July 2013

We have been in the business between the two of us (my wife and I) for 14 years. We now currently own a real estate company based in Bowie.In our experience a large cell tower or power lines adversely affects the sale of a property. Generally, it will bring the price down and make it harder to sell the property.

We have shown multiple buyers homes over the years that otherwise would have been a great fit, but instead they walked away because of a tower or power lines. This is quite often a deal killer for buyers, as there is nothing they can do about it and they have read the many studies that talk about the possible health concerns they pose. 

People in this market cite such studies, and are convinced enough to not purchase property that would otherwise be perfect for them because of the location relative to towers and power lines. We have had clients that would not purchase homes within a certain mile radius to power lines and cell towers. Piney Orchard goes to great lengths to have well-kept landscaping, utilities run under ground, and people buying in that community expect that quality of living. It would be a BIG shame to take the highly sought after Piney Orchard community and slap a cell tower there.

Although there are a lot of studies for both the cell phone carriers and from activists, the jury is still out scientifically on how much a cell tower does or does not affect cancer rates, among other things. I am not a doctor, but I wonder why you would want to risk putting it right at a school or next to residential communities when there is even the slightest chance that there could be negative health side effects.
I understand a need for cell towers, but the placement of this tower would negatively affect property values and health risks should be considered with utmost importance.

We recommend for the community that they do not place the tower at the school, rather an alternative placement mitigating the above risks should be considered.

Brendan Spear     Realtor, Caprika Realty

Would you buy a house with a cell tower in the backyard?

Cell Towers Lower Home Values

Research shows:
  • ​Cell Towers can DROP Home Prices from 5 to 20%

  • The closer the Tower, the more the Drop.

  • Home Buyers prefer backyards without a nearby cell tower.

  • Once built, a new law might let them go up 20 more feet!

" 94% reported that cell towers 

in a neighborhood or on a building would impact interest in a property."