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TAVARES, FL-In its second attempt to erect a cell tower pole near residential neighborhoods, Nextel Communications Inc. has won approval from Lake County’s planning and zoning commission to build a 100-foot structure near the sprawling Danny Len Buick-Pontiac GMC showrooms off U.S. 441 north near Eustis, FL, 32 miles northwest of Downtown Orlando.

The Reston, VA-based telecommunications company still needs a final green light from the county commission which is expected to consider the request at its next public meeting on Aug. 28. The estimated construction cost of the tower is $500,000, according to cost estimates on previous poles erected by Nextel and its competitors.

Citizens Against Cellular Tower Invasion, a local activist group, opposes cellular tower construction near any residential neighborhood. The group argues the towers produce alleged electromagnetic emissions, a lowering of property values and a danger to the public health of humans and animals, such as squirrels, birds and bats.

The planning and zoning board’s approval means Nextel has passed all the minimum safety requirements for the tower’s construction, county staffers tell GlobeSt.com. The residents’ group forced Nextel to withdraw an application for a 180-foot tower last year that would have been disguised as a flagpole.

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