Verizon Says It Placed The Pole 'With All Required Approvals'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some Brooklyn residents are saying “no” to a new Verizon communications tower they said was planted by surprise. It stands more than 20 feet tall — a height the company said is the best way to ward off potential vandals.

“I don’t like it, and I think it’s wrong. And I think it’s wrong for the neighborhood,” resident Fred Baer told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

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It may be just one pole that is designed to fit in, but the earthy brown utility tower has neighbors in Midwood Park and Fiske Terrace digging in for a fight.

“First of all, there’s never just one, once you establish a precedent, then there it is,” resident Paula Paterniti said.

“We don’t want to see high-tech poles in our neighborhood,” said Nancy Beranbaum of the Terrace Neighborhood Association.

The residents objecting to the tower’s placement live in the historically landmarked sections of Brooklyn, which are full of 100-year-old Victorians, manicured landscaping and now the massive, modern, metal monument, erected right outside Jeanne Person’s house.

“It was a surprise and I think that’s what took us most aback, is that it just appeared,” Person said.

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Neighbors said the pole was installed about three weeks ago in one day. However, since that time, there has been no activity, leaving many to wonder if it was placed prematurely and if Verizon has stopped the job.

“We don’t know what to expect, Verizon has not communicated with us,” Beranbaum said.

In a statement, Verizon said “the purpose is to bring new FIOS services, including a choice in cable TV service, to residents of the neighborhood…it’s a safer alternative to ground-level terminals that have been subjected to graffiti and other forms of vandalism and…Verizon placed the pole with all required approvals.”

But the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission is investigating, saying it is “examining a way to have the pole removed and possibly replaced with a much smaller, less obtrusive unit that would be more appropriate for the historic district.”

“We know a lot of neighbors would probably like to get FIOS, we think it’s great. We think it’s a good thing for this neighborhood, but it doesn’t have to be done this way,” Baer said.

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