SJ residents fight cellphone tower proposal over radiation concerns

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Controversy is brewing in one west San Jose neighborhood as residents are outraged over the proposed building of a 50-foot cellphone tower nearby.

San Jose's Planning Commission approved it back in May, but resident plan to take their fight to the city council.

Verizon wants to build the tower in the Orchard Farms Shopping Center on Bollinger Road, hoping to improve cell service in the area.

The tower would be constructed to look like a pine tree, but residents of the Regency Park neighborhood are more concerned about exposure to the radio frequency, or RF energy, from the tower.

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"This type of radiation is extremely harmful to the health of those living nearby, within 500 feet. And especially to children and the elderly," explained Alyona Pakhnev, a resident.

"We're following the regulations. This particular antenna meets the regulatory requirements," said Michelle Yesney with the San Jose Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission voted unanimously in favor of the tower. They say it follows all land use and FCC guidelines.

Meanwhile, residents collected more than 200 signatures. City council will take the matter up on Tuesday.

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