Cell tower site approved in Lake Forest
Updated: October 2, 2012 5:38PM
LAKE FOREST — Construction of a 110-foot monopole in the northwest corner of the former Barat College campus will be allowed, after the City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve the request.
The switch to a new cell tower will make it possible for the razing of Old Main, the soaring red-brick building on the former Barat College campus, to proceed.
“The cell tower issue is what’s holding up demolition,” Director of Community Development Cathy Czerniak said.
She said demolition of the building “will follow immediately” once the cell service on top of Old Main is relocated to the new monopole. The building’s destruction likely will occur in spring or summer of 2013, she said.
The new monopole will be located near South Park Woods, which will serve as a screen to homeowners in the area and to traffic on Sheridan Road and Westleigh Road. The tower is expected to improve cell phone service in the city’s southeast quadrant, Czerniak said.
The proposed site for the monopole is a permitted location in the Wireless Overlay District in Lake Forest City Code.
First Ward Alderman Catherine Waldeck called the new location for the tower “the best possible site,” she said. “None of us really likes towers, but we need to have them.”
Second Ward Alderman David Moore, who heads up the ad hoc Wireless Communications Task Force, gave two thumbs up to the location for the new monopole.
“This will be practically invisible to anyone walking or driving on Sheridan or Westleigh,” he said. “You will not see it.”
Monday’s City Council action is the latest in the ongoing request by Woodlands Academy to combine the adjacent former Barat College property into one campus. The City Council in February approved the gift of Barat to Woodlands Academy by an anonymous donor.