Several more questions have been written in about the Three Springs cell antenna.
Property values. It appears that if a “big stink” is made about cell antenna installation, that may decrease pricing on homes in an area. If the antenna is unsightly (e.g., a tower), those in close proximity will see a decline. The most credible and applicable research to this area seems to be an Florida study that says that a cell tower causes a 2% decline in value, that diminishes with distance, and by 656 feet away from the antenna, has no impact in value. But again, this is based on older data and applies to a *tower* (not camouflaged tree antenna as proposed here). See more below.
Lawn Signs. We’ve been asked “What happened to the signs?” The HOA sent letters to the homeowners telling them to remove them because this was not a political campaign and not allowed within the governing bylaws of the Three Springs HOA. Several residents have complied with this notice.
Facebook pages. Some have asked why Westlake Revelations posts have been removed from the Facebook pages in opposition to the antenna. In short, we don’t know — we had thought that was an open discussion area, and were providing links to pictures, clarifying issues and asking questions about posts. Saturday morning, we found Westlake Revelations’ and other users’ posts were not only removed from the Facebook group pages by those behind these pages, but several user accounts have been “blacklisted” and are no longer allowed to post anything further in that Facebook fan area.
HOA Survey Answers are Confidential. A number of people have been pressured by others to have specific opinions. Westlake Revelations has confirmed with the Three Springs HOA that identities of survey answers will be kept confidential. Only aggregate information will be made public. You should fill out the survey to be representative of your household, and avoid any “help” from others with answers. Please complete and return the survey by Monday.
One of the concerns about cell antenna sites is property values. Most of the related studies apply to the visual impact of large un-camouflaged towers, wires and cables. We’ve not seen any studies that are in the last few years with better camouflaging technology. (If you see one, please send it.)
New Zealand Studies:
There’s a Feng Shui consultant in New Zealand who ran a 2002 perception study there indicating a 0-20% drop in value. This was based on perceived values, not actual sales. These perceptions may or may not apply to the US “because of US residents have become more accustomed to them”. (See http://bit.ly/cylYcJ).
A more recent New Zealand study (2005-2007) “compared their Quotable Value NZ sale prices to their proximity to 46 cell phone towers” and found “Sales that were close to the towers had no significant price impact.” There’s anecdotal evidence that agents have a hard time selling houses that are near towers, but the references again are about obvious, large, non-camouflaged towers (and therefore may or may not apply to smaller antenna sites such as the one proposed in Three Springs).
Another New Zealand study by the same researchers was a “Transaction-Based Market Study” which looked at actual transactions in an area showed that if there was negative media publicity given to a cell antenna, there was a 20% decrease in property values. But, if no such publicity was given and there was no public outcry, selling prices remained the same or increased by 12%. Again, these apply to larger cell towers.
One Westlake Revelations reader sent in an article about property values that may apply more to Three Springs. http://bit.ly/aZrm3D
With 60% of the towers in an area of Orange County, Florida being built between 1990 and 2000, the study looked at home sales before and after, and looked at proximity to the cell sites.
The results of the research show that prices of properties decreased by just over 2%, on average, after a tower was built. This effect generally diminished with distance from the tower and was almost negligible after about 656 feet.
Again, these are cell towers much more obvious than a cell antenna tree. Since the time of this number valuation there have been three significant changes. First, cellular technology has much lower power output. Second, antennas are now camouflaged and prevalent. Third, 25% of homes in the US now use cell phones as their primary phone and no longer have a land line.
A Canadian “Report On the National Antenna Tower Policy Review” (which may not apply to the US) talked about the intuitiveness individuals rely on “if a structure appears imposing and unattractive or blocks scenic viewscapes, then it must have a negative impact on local property values.” The study goes on to give examples of aesthetics of large broadcast or un-camouflaged cell or other antennas.