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Frontenac Forges Ahead With Cell Tower on Sisters Of Mercy Property

Neighbor Charles Shepherd objects strongly to proposed tower location on the property.

Charles “Chuck” Shepherd and his family have lived at 10 Shepherd Woods Dr. for 44 years in Frontenac adjacent to North Geyer Road and directly across from the 70 acre Sisters of Mercy Retreat Center.

To Shepherd’s dismay, he’s seen this idyllic piece of property morph from residential to one with somewhat of a business nature. Over the years, the center has become a conference center; a business center and now home to an imposing cellular tower.

Shepherd is unhappy about the commercialization of residential property, and feels “his ox is being gored.”

A former city attorney for Frontenac, Shepherd fought city hall and lost Tuesday night at a public hearing to allow a provisional use permit for AT&T and other providers to construct a 140 foot cellular tower on this piece of property.

Shepherd says his neighbors are 100 percent opposed to the location of the tower, and feels the residents on Hickory Lane will feel pretty much the same.

The opposition lies in the construction of 10 foot concrete bunkers to surround the base of the tower. A black vinyl mesh screen to cover up the base is not satisfactory in his opinion.

Shepherd addressed the Frontenac City Council as a citizen during the public hearing and continued a dialogue throughout the presentation of the regular meeting. At one point, he had a side dialogue going with councilman Tom Hizar and newcomer Mike Schoedel, provoking city Attorney Kevin O’Keefe to halt that conversation.

Shepherd wants the tower, located some 100 foot up an incline at the front of the property to be relocated to another location, west southwest of the rear of the existing buildings on the same piece of ground.

Mayor Keith Krieg differed with that view, knowing his building department personnel, fellow council members and attorneys had walked all 70 acres of the property, trying to find the optimum location.

“This is the best site, offering the maximum service. If we move to any other location, other residents will object to that location,” said the mayor. After the meeting, the mayor commented, “you just cannot please all the people, all the time.”

Shepherd lost, the city won and the provisional use permit was granted to the Sisters of Mercy to construct the cellular tower on the predetermined location.

The only other piece of business as the meeting was sending Sugo’s/Via Vino restaurant, (located at 10419-10427 Clayton Rd.) request for additional outdoor dining space and a new awning back to the Planning & Zoning Commission.

The results of the April 3, 2012 election were certified and Mike Schoedel, Ward 1 was sworn in to replace John Wynne who served six years. Also, Alderwoman Margo Martin and Tom Hizar were sworn in to serve another term. All three aldermanic races went uncontested. Mayor Krieg recognized Wynne for being the driving force behind the new city hall and for his dedicated service.

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