Poles that irked Plano homeowners are coming down

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on May 28, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 28 at 11:32 PM

PLANO — Earlier this year, we told you about tall poles that were popping up in the middle of Plano neighborhoods.

They weren't for residential utilities or phone lines, but for the city's private wireless network.

Now, those poles are coming down almost as fast as they went up.

When we first talked with Plano homeowners two months ago, they were angry about the towers. Plano city officials said they were necessary for public safety. Neighbors called them "eyesores."

Telephone and power lines in this Plano neighborhood are buried underground. So when the poles suddenly went up near their homes, neighbors cried foul.

"It was a nuisance, just right there in the middle of the subdivision," said homeowner Ladonna Pybus.

Plano is still installing an extensive wireless network for police and firefighters. It covers 94 percent of the city.

In the other six percent, the poles are owned by utility companies. When Oncor refused to let the city install wireless equipment, Plano put up its own.

But now, after years of negotiations, Oncor has compromised and the poles started coming down.

"We've come to agreement with them on replacing some of the shorter, decorative poles with taller decorative poles that will suffice for their needs and our needs," said David Stephens, Plano's technical services director.

James and Ladonna Pybus called the agreement a win for Plano.

"A lot of neighbors thought that it was an eyesore," said Mr. Pybus. "Obviously, they're gone now. So it's definitely a win for the neighborhood."

Twenty-two neighborhood poles are coming town; 140 existing poles will be replaced with taller ones.

"This is a win-win for everyone," Stephens said. "We get the assets we need for city services to be provided, and we keep the aesthetics of the neighborhood for the residents."

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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