WATERTOWN — Despite opposition from some residents, the town Planning Board on Monday approved a cell tower that’s planned to be built on outer Washington Street.

A petition had been submitted to the Planning Board signed by 170 people expressing concerns or opposition about potential health risks associated with cell towers.

Verizon wants to build the 124-foot-tall tower at 19079 Route 11, behind the Rent-a-Wreck business.

Planning Board co-chair Pamela D. Desormo said planning board members got the advice from town attorney Joseph Russell, who told them that they had to approve the cell tower if it followed regulations and the site plan process. It did, she said.

Ed Donato, who lives at 18973 Watertown Center Loop, organized opposition to the cell tower. He recently distributed yard signs to about 50 neighbors that questions whether cell towers can cause cancer to neighbors

Two months ago, the Planning Board tabled the proposal so Verizon could provide more information about the tower after Mr. Donato and two others spoke at a public hearing.

The property where the cell tower will be built is owned by businessman Jim Widrick, who plans to lease it to Verizon.

Mr. Donato is worried about the RF waves that would be generated by the cell tower causing cancer, contending cell towers have not been proven safe.

The Planning Board did some tests on whether RF waves emanate from another cell tower in the town located on a water tower on Route 3.

The board also completed some research from the American Cancer Society that concluded that there is no evidence that it does.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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