🔴 Belmar & Verizon reached a compromise on 5G cellphone towers

🔴 The property where they are to be built belongs to Monmouth County

🔴 County Commissioner Tom Arnone is against the towers

BELMAR — A resident leading the fight in a Jersey Shore town against a plan to install over two dozen 30-foot cell phone towers along a boardwalk had to adjust her battle plan.

Verizon has been trying to install towers along the mile-long boardwalk for several years and went to court after the borough delayed approval.

A settlement in 2022 allowed Verizon to install 20 "small wireless facilities," each 30 feet tall, at street lights located at each block along Ocean Avenue.

Caitlin Donovan created a website, BelmarAgainst5GTowers.com, and an online petition expressing her opposition. She has used social media to gain support.

"We think they're excessive and we're worried about environmental damage, damage to the character of our beach, and even for a lot of peoples and health concerns," Donovan told New Jersey 101.5.

Donovan contends that the towers will be an eyesore and could decrease property values. There is also concern about health risks posed by long-term exposure to the 5G towers.

However, after Donovan focused her efforts on elected borough officials it was discovered that the property along Ocean Avenue where the towers would be placed is actually the county's land.

Banner opposing Verizon cell phone towers in Belmar
Banner opposing Verizon cell phone towers in Belmar (Bud McCormick)

County opposes cell phone towers

Donovan addressed the county commissioners on June 8. County Commissioner Director Tom Arnone said that the county is also opposed to the towers.

He said Verizon's application is being reviewed by county attorney Mike Fitzgerald.

"We're making sure they go through the whole process," Arnone told Donovan. "Mike has reached out and let them know we are obviously against it and in support of you guys in Belmar."

Arnone declined to comment for this report.

In a statement, Verizon spokesman Andrew Testa said the poles were custom designed as a "concession to the township" as part of a plan to optimize network coverage and capacity.

"Verizon’s deployment of new small cells in Belmar provides customers and emergency service providers in our community with enhanced and more reliable wireless voice and data services to meet not only today’s needs, but also those of the future," Testa said.

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