Verizon is applying to the City of Boise to build what’s described as a ‘stealth‘ tower, along with a 12ft by 26ft pre-fab building near the Historic Boise Armory on Reserve Street. The public was invited to discuss details Thursday, June 13th from 6 to 7pm in the lot between the Fire Station and the Armory on Reserve Street in Boise. See the notice below (provided by Technology Associates via EENA) for more information. See also the armory development agreement governing use of the property.
Several neighbors and subcommittee members met with Doug Kofford, the TAEC / Consultant for Verizon. Diane Ronayne, Gary Richardson, Laura Shealy, Tony Tenne, Noel and Lucy Weber, and Erik Kingston turned out on 6/13 to learn about plans for the 85-foot tower, concrete bunker and the 50′ x 60′ fenced enclosure to be located between the Armory and Fire Station #1 near Logan Avenue. We also learned that the top of the tower will have a three-sided array that is at least 12′ on a side and look something like this:
Despite the term ‘stealth’ used to describe this structure, it will be significant in mass and height for the neighborhood; double the height of the Armory and at least 15′ to 20′ above the trees along Logan Ave. This begs the question: would the relatively small lease payment from a tower be offset by the potential negative impact on public (and potential tenant/patron) perception? Towers like this can lead to the ‘industrialization’ of a property or neighborhood, driving away some valuable activity and traffic.
Neighbors were interested in the potential to integrate a public art component, but learned about the restrictions inherent in cell towers. Access to the tower for servicing, reducing the chance for birds or other wildlife to damage equipment or otherwise interfere with transmission or reception are all considerations. Perhaps something to reflect the area’s history from the perspective of the National Guard or the Fire Station? Or something artsy, like Boxfall below?