CLOVER, SC (WBTV) - An ongoing dispute over a cellphone tower in Clover, SC, got more heated as construction began Tuesday while a citizen's appeal is still pending.
"I thought if you have an appeal that is notarized by the courthouse that would serve as a stay," plaintiff Ed Dees said.
Dees lives across the street from the site on Walnut St. where TowerCom has proposed to build a cellphone tower in Clover, carrying Verizon. He filed an appeal in York County Common Pleas court last week, hoping it would halt construction further.
DOCUMENT: Click here to read the appeal
Town Administrator Allison Harvey responded to WBTV in an email stating construction was properly permitted and will continue unless a stay or stop work order was issued by the circuit court, but to the town's knowledge none had been issued.
"We are not opposing the cell tower, everyone needs cell service. We are opposing this 155-foot tower in front of this church and these people's homes," Councilman Todd Blanton said.
Blanton is one town councilmember who has spoken publicly about his distaste for the cell tower's location. He supports Dees' claim that the town cut corners to expedite construction.
"The town illegally approved the cell tower," Blanton said.
In the four-page appeal, Dees lists eight allegations of wrongdoings the town made in the process of permitting this construction. Those alleged wrongdoings include the cell tower construction conflicting with the town's comprehensive plan, not following the lot's designated zone, and falsifying Board of Zone and Appeals minutes.
According to the claims in the lawsuit, "There is no evidence of legal notification of changing the zoning for this lot."
Dees and Blanton say because there is no record of the zoning change, the lot should still be considered residential. However, Harvey says the lot was zoned as industrial since at least 1975.
In response to one of Dees' previous appeals, the staff responded to each claim he made.
DOCUMENT: Click here to read the staff response
One part of the response reads, "The Appeal by Mr. Dees of the issuance of a zoning permit to TowerCom/Verizon sets forth four pages of assertions, opinions and speculative observations that fall into five (5) broad categories, none of which support Mr. Dees' conclusion that the issuance of the zoning permit should have been denied."