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Columbus cell tower

A Columbus cell tower is designed to resemble an evergreen tree. Now a pine tree cell tower is proposed in Omaha.

OMAHA — Several Omaha residents are against the proposed installation of an AT&T cell tower disguised as a pine tree.

The 92-foot tower would be placed at the main entrance to Omaha's Memorial Park, according to the plan proposed by the cellphone provider and Brownell Talbot School. The tower would sit between the private school's parking lot and the park.

A neighborhood group called the Dundee-Memorial Park Association voted unanimously Monday to oppose the tower.

"It will be an eyesore," said Peter Manhart, the association's president.

Nearby trees are much shorter than the proposed camouflaged tower, said several neighbors.

"It's hard to see that a fake tree is going to fool anybody," said resident Matt Johnson. "I understand why they want to put a cell tower there. But I don't think it's the right fix for the city, the park or the neighborhood."

Officials deemed other potential sites unworkable for the tower, which is necessary to improve the area's wireless coverage, according to AT&T representatives.

City planning staff recommended that the Omaha Planning Board allow more time for the school and cellphone provider to work with the city.

A shorter tower design may be more appropriate for the area, according to the planning department's analysis.

"As designed, the tower will have an intrusive impact on the surrounding residential neighborhood," the analysis said. "A tree-style camouflage design is not appropriate for this location."


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