WHITTIER – The City Council wants T-Mobile to continue looking for another site for a proposed cell tower, instead of across the street from East Whittier Middle School. The Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to give the company until Oct. 23 to see if it can reach an agreement with the owner of the Whittier Medical Plaza, 14350 Whittier Blvd. The vote came after a July 24 meeting when the City Council asked T-Mobile to find another site. T-Mobile now wants to install the antenna at the Second Church of Christ Scientist, Whittier, 8723 Catalina Ave. “I just don’t feel I’m ready to give up on the applicant giving a final shot with Whittier Medical Plaza,” Councilwoman Cathy Warner said. So far, the owner of the medical building has refused to sign a lease with T-Mobile. Luke Lucas, regional development manager for T-Mobile, said Wednesday his company will try again. Lucas said he doesn’t know why the owner of the building won’t allow the installation of the tower. Nearby residents and school officials have opposed the cell tower because of health and aesthetics concerns. “They are unsightly and there are unknown dangers you don’t know about,” said Whittier resident Grace Nakamura. “It’s a new technology.” But the council isn’t allowed to consider questions of health, said City Attorney Dick Jones. Councilman Bob Henderson, the lone dissenter, said the city should approve the tower at the church. “While I understand and am sympathetic to all of the neighbors, scientific panels have looked at (the issue) over the decades and they feel there is absolutely no risk,” Henderson said. Councilman Greg Nordbak said he was ready not to give T-Mobile a variance for the tower. The tower would be 60-feet-high in a residential area, but the city has a height restriction of only 35 feet. “They haven’t demonstrated reasons for the variance,” Nordbak said. “What they’re asking is for us to increase coverage so they can market themselves competitively. I don’t see that as my problem.” Henderson said the city already has granted four other variances to towers in residential zones. But those were in parks or greenways, Councilman Joe Vinatieri countered. “This property is unique to that determination,” Vinatieri said. “I’m concerned whether (the church) is the least intrusive site (for a cell tower),” he said. “If we could get something reasonable for the landlord to sign, I think we should work on that.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!