Letter to the Editor - Condo Towers

New cell towers are dangerous eyesores

I have been a resident and owner at the Ocean Club for the last 20 years. I am voicing here tonight my strong opposition to the four phone cell towers recently erected on the roof of Cape Florida Condo on Sea View Drive.

The constructions are UGLY and disproportionate. They limit the view, enjoyment and value of our properties.

They are NOT SAFE (FLIMSY) and exceed the height allowed under the Code on at least one of the structures. No study has been done to their wind-force sustainability in case of hurricane and, as already happened, they even could topple or catch fire.

Ocean Club cell towers

They are most probably ILLEGAL. We need a zoning expert to take a close look at the Code to make sure that all of its provisions and state and federal laws are complied with. It seems that existing rules have apparently been ignored or missed by the village to grant permits for these towers.

For instance:

Usually contractors or companies doing such a radical change to the roof to the detriment of the views of the neighboring buildings would require that the immediate neighbors be advised by certified mail of this plan including diagram of the proposed work. The neighbors would have time (10 days, for example) to respond if they disagree. If this is not done no permit would be issued.

It looks like no neighbors were advised of this construction. I, for one, was not notified. Apparently even the majority of residents/owners of Cape Florida Condo are not fully aware of what was done on their roof and the legal implications. And the cell towers/antennae were constructed in the middle of the summer, when many Key Biscayne residents are away on vacation.

In addition: there are serious health concerns about the emissions coming from the phone cell towers.

Dr. Gerard Hyland, a physicist who was nominated twice for the Nobel Prize in medicine, says existing safety guidelines for cell phone towers are “completely inadequate.” Quite justifiably, the public remains skeptical of attempts by governments and industry to reassure them that all is well, given the unethical way in which they often operate so as to promote their own vested interests.

The Environmental Health Trust states that cell antennae mounted on buildings have dangerous radio frequency emissions. The closer you are to the antennae, the more radiofrequency radiation you are exposed to. Cell tower radiation exposure is different than cell phone exposure in that a cell phone to the head focuses an extremely high amount of radiation to a specific brain region. Cell tower emissions are at lower levels than cell phones, but they are non-stop day and night, and full body exposure.

A phone can be turned off while a cell tower cannot be.

Given these potentially serious health risks, we ask you to be on the right side of PRECAUTION and protect the residents of our village, whom you represent.

Many governments and local jurisdictions have halted the placement of cell towers and cell antennae near schools and residences. The cell towers on Cape Florida Condo have been placed in a dense residential zone of Key Biscayne (not business or commercial) where we have many children and seniors, who are particularly susceptible, CONTINUOUSLY being exposed to potentially dangerous emissions.

This is not an acceptable situation.

So far, the village has not acknowledged my concerns and questions. The only response has come from councilwoman Kathie Petros, whom I would like to thank. She assured me that the mayor, manager and staff are considering stricter regulations to avoid such occurrences in the future.

I appreciate that, but what good is it to us at the Ocean Club?

A large number of Key Biscayne residents are already affected very negatively, and the problem is not in the future, it is right NOW and must be addressed NOW.

Thank you.

Anna de Sisto