A proposal to build a 14-story cellphone tower in a Delaware cemetery and camouflage it as a bell tower is angering some residents of the area.

The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware (http://delonline.us/Zh2E8B ) reports a permit hearing will be held Thursday about the proposed AT&T tower at All Saints Cemetery near Newark.

Opponents have gathered about 250 signatures of people who oppose the 142-foot tower, gathering some signatures online and others on paper. Joe Naccarato is one of the residents opposing the tower.

“It’s going to be twice as tall as most of the trees that surround it,” Naccarato said. “So it’s basically going to be up there sort of overshadowing our residences.”

But an official with the Diocese of Wilmington says the cell phone tower will be disguised as an attractive bell tower could have a bell soundtrack for appropriate times or events and will be located in a remote area of the cemetery.

“The site of the proposed bell tower will be in an undeveloped area of the cemetery that is 650 feet – over two football fields – from any home,” said Diocese of Wilmington spokesman Robert Krebs. “Because of its location, in a low section of the property, we don’t expect that the tower will appear much higher than the lights on the athletic fields of nearby St. Mark’s High School.”

The Diocese of Wilmington oversees Catholic Cemeteries Inc., which operates three cemeteries including All Saints Cemetery.

The New Castle County Board of Adjustment will ultimately decide whether the tower gets built at the cemetery. The board will issue a written decision about a month after Thursday’s public hearing, but the decision may also be appealed.


Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., http://www.delawareonline.com