Parents in Kirby District 140 are rallying against companies' desire to erect a cell phone tower on local school property.
AT&T and Joliet-based National Wireless Ventures together have requested a special use permit and site plan approval for a 129-foot tower on the grounds of Christa McAuliffe Elementary School. The tower, topped by a 9-foot-tall lightning rod, would stand south/southeast of the school's football field on the 8900 block of 197th Street.
In addition, the companies envision a 129-foot tower at Helen Keller School on the 7800 block of 163rd Street and a 100-foot tower at Bannes School on the 16800 block of Odell Avenue.
Tinley Park Plan Commissioner Bob McClellan openly opposed the plans during a March 10 meeting, saying the tower "looks like something out of a sci-fi movie."
The school board has already OKed the plans, National Wireless President Robert Stapleton told the commissioner, and has agreed to a 25-year contract for the three towers, pending village approval. Read more about the proposed towers.
But parents aren't pleased, and they've started an online petition against the towers.
"...Peer-reviewed studies have shown that the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) radiating from cell towers place children at increased risk for a number of health problems, including leukemia, headaches, behavioral problems, and DNA damage," reads the petition.
As of Thursday afternoon, the petition has 114 signatures.
A public hearing will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, at Tinley Park Village Hall, 16250 S. Oak Park Ave.