Government Overreach? - A Lone Wolf Alderman in Ballwin Thinks So
Alderman Kevin Roach (Ward 2) was the sole vote in opposition to a special use permit for a new permanent cell tower at 15407 Clayton Road at the August 24 Ballwin Board of Alderman meeting.
His singular stance against the proposal underscores possible overreach by the State when it come to tying the hands of municipalities regarding the permitting of cell towers.
The plan has been drawing concern from residents near the tower. According to Alderman Kevin Roach, who spoke with Wildwood Matters, the meeting was packed with residents in opposition to the proposal including a petition signed by 168 residents. Representatives of St. Louis for Safe Technologies, a group concerned with exposure to electromagnetic fields from technologies like cell towers was among those who spoke against the project.
According to Roach, City Attorney Bob Jones had suggested that there was no legal grounds to deny the application. Jones, among other things pointed to current state and federal law that he interprets as prohibiting municipalities from not approving communication towers on grounds of aesthetics or health issues.
Roach was unwilling to cede responsibility and rejected the suggestion that the city had no choice in the matter. Roach was the sole vote against the project.
Roach told WWM that he believed that the application did not meet several of the criteria for a special use permit and that it was within his right and his responsibility as an Alderman to oppose it.
Citing conflict of interest, Jim Leahy (Ward 3) abstained.