Homeowners Upset Over Cell Phone Towers

Residents on Long Island and New Jersey battle NextG Networks

By Tom Llamas
|  Thursday, Feb 2, 2012  |  Updated 12:21 PM EDT
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Cell Phone Tower Controversy

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Cell Phone Tower Controversy

Residents in Brookhaven, L.I. and Union, N.J, battle with a cell phone company over the placement of their towers.
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The next time you complain about cell service think about having a cell phone tower in your front lawn or a cell phone antenna just above your driveway.

That's the reality for homeowners on Long Island and New Jersey fighting with NextG Networks.

"It's just horrible how they operate," says Union New Jersey resident Gary Lescota.

Lescota said he had to call the police to stop NextG crews from installing an eight foot antenna on his property. He won the battle but not the war-they placed the antenna on another pole just off his property.

"I received a call from them after I complained about the poll going up and they told me I'd get used to it. How do you get used to something like this on your property,” asked Lescota.

In Brookhaven on Long Island the DiMarco family has spent months trying to figure out how a cell phone tower was built on their front lawn.


"What a horrible thing to happen. It's a huge monstrosity on my lawn," says Lori DiMarco.

The couple worries about their property value and the safety of their children. Brookhaven officials are also baffled at the 30ft pole. It's on a block that has no utility poles. They've sent NextG a letter asking them to remove it immediately.

"It does stand out. It's not within the character of the neighborhood and that's something we'll be looking at," says John Rouse who is Superintendent of Highways for Brookhaven.

But NextG says they never received a letter from Brookhaven. They say they sent several letters to Brookhaven and even a check, which was never cashed.

The company said they never heard back so they moved forward.

In a statement sent to NBC New York NextG General Counsel Robert Delsman wrote: "NextG reasonably believed in good faith after many meetings and written communications that the town either did not require the permits for which NextG had submitted applications or had waived the requirement."

NextG is registered as a public utility so they're granted certain freedoms-plus they claim the pole is on the public way not on the DiMarco's property.

The town disputes that.

"We've called it construction by ambush," says Rouse

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