A potential new cell phone tower could be going up on the roof of the Newport Antique Center, at 4864 Newport Avenue.
Craig Gerwig, owner of the antique store between Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Cable Street, confirmed that he had plans to add the tower, but said no contracts were in place. A group of men were seen on the rooftop of the building late last week, presumably scoping out the site.
Gerwig refused to answer any questions about the possible addition to his business, but did say he had no concerns about any health issues that might arise from having a tower so close to a residential area.
The issue of cell phone towers in Ocean Beach came up earlier this year, when the Project Review Committee approved permit renewal for the tower on top of the Masonic Lodge at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. There are also a number of cell phone towers in churches in the neighborhood.
I spoke with Denny Knox, executive director of the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association, who assured me that her organization does not have anything to do with it. Denny’s reaction? Heh. Here’s what she said:
“I think it’s up to the original property owner. Honestly, it’s in a commercial district. I think most people don’t even know if there are cell phone towers near them. We’re sort of in a valley. There used to be a lot of places in OB where you couldn’t pick up a call.
“I don’t think they’d put one in if they don’t need it. I say go for it.”
[Note: the site on the roof of of the Newport Antique Center of the possible cell phone tower appears to be within 100 feet of numerous other businesses as well as a few residences across the alley.]
Editor: As Matthew hears back from those he has called regarding this story, we’ll add to the commentary on the possible installation of the cell phone tower.