Verizon’s Fresno faux brick building cell site is a slight to the community and an eyesore, residents say

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR! The Fresno, California, City Council wasn't enamored with a monopine, shown at right, that was suggested by SAC-NOKIA, and opted for a

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR! The Fresno, California, City Council wasn’t enamored with the monopine, shown at right, suggested by SAC-NOKIA for a Verizon cell site and opted for a tower that looks like a building. However, residents aren’t buying the finished design.

OPINION — “What the’ x&!*’ is that monstrosity?” a member of the “For the Love of Downtown Fresno” Facebook group asked.

“Looks like low-quality brick wallpaper,” commented another member.

“This looks like crap, and if this is the finished version, I cannot believe the forward, thinking people who designed that,” a third member remarked.

“It needs advertisements,” a fourth post suggested humorously. “Beautiful advertisements for sports betting and erectile dysfunction.” 

The target of their deserved derisions is a Verizon cell site that was constructed in December on R Street near Ventura Avenue, a structure visible to motorists on the elevated portion of Highway 41, that is in steep competition with a toilet paper rollout of 5G wireless in Charleston, South Carolina.

SAC-NOKIA’s originally proposed design for the conditional use permit was an 80-foot monopine, which nearby neighbors opposed because they said it would block their view.

In a July 2022 compromise, the Fresno City, California, Council allowed Verizon to proceed with the tower construction. It felled the artificial tree idea in favor of a design that would more naturally integrate with the environment.

Although there had been alternate designs suggested, such as a clock tower and bell steeple that Verizon could construct, council members approved the cell tower on R Street with the sole condition that “the camouflage design will make the tower look like a building that is lit up with an illuminating light feature.”

Unfortunately, because Fresno failed to put advance input and more stringent design requirements for approval, during the day, it is not lit up and looks more like, yes, cheap brick wallpaper possibly available at the Salvation Army Thrift Store across the street. It’s not representative of or blending in with Fresno’s cityscape or any other brick building in America. 

At night, it would be better not to be lit up until Verizon provides a more aesthetically pleasing RF concealment system that is pleasing to the eye, not just attractive to their build budget.