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New cell tower in Montecito will look like a tree

A new cellular phone tower in Montecito will look like a pine tree. The artificial 75-foot tall tree with telecommunications equipment is part of a deal that took months of work and public debates.

The tower will be located off East Valley Road on Santa Angela Lane. Verizon officials told the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors they looked at more than a dozen other sites, but none of those were as strong as the one chosen.

A similar camouflage tree full of cellular equipment is located off Overpass Road in Goleta. No complaints have come in on that site.

Many Montecito residents have said cell service in the area had drop outs, and also areas where they could get no service at all. Some residents, however, were concerned about the size of the tower and possible health issues from this type of equipment clustered together. Among them, were parents of students at a school nearby.

Final wording on the agreement is expected to be approved by county officials next Tuesday.


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