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“Cell Phone Towers Do Not Affect Property Values"

"Or the Case of Three Board Hearings and One Temporary Tower”

June 10, 2016

A recent article in Probate & Property caught my eye. I can not count the number of times I have crisscrossed North Carolina to appear before a local government zoning board to tell officials that communications towers do not have a significant impact on property values.

The piece is published by the American Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law and is entitled “Cell Phone Towers Do Not Affect Property Values." An excerpt:

“...neighbors invariably argue that a new tower will adversely affect property values....

Appraisers argue to the contrary.....Although cell towers may be initially noticed, they quickly fade into the background and have no appreciable effect on value – just as telephone poles, utility lines, street lights, and other infrastructure of modern life do not affect value.”

The article cites studies from 2004, 2001 and 1998 that show towers have little, if any, impact on property values.  It also details a case, AT&T v. Sussex County Board of Adjustment, that involved three separate board hearings over one tower.   Read more (membership required).

Tom Johnson is a Board Certified Specialist in Real Property Law - Business, Commercial, Industrial and Residential Transactions.  He is Chair of the Zoning, Planning and Land Use Section Council of North Carolina Bar Association and is a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) by the U.S. Green Building Council.