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Controversial Sprint cell tower may be moved elsewhere
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The cellular phone tower at Weston Elementary School that was shut off after parents and staff feared it was the cause of seven cancer cases could be on the move.

At today’s special session of the Ripon City Council, Mayor Leo Zuber is expected to sign the letter of agreement with Sprint regarding the future relocation of the tower.

The 3 p.m. meeting will take place in the Council Chambers, 259 N. Wilma Ave.

The telecommunication company requested to enter into an agreement with the City to relocate the tower at the point of the property west of Jack Tone Road behind the strawberry farm, near the intersection of Jack Tone and Harvest Drive, according to City Administrator Kevin Werner in his Council report.

“The property where the tower will be located is adjacent to the property that is currently zoned residential in the City’s general plan,” he said.

Werner added, noting that “by having the tower at this location would prelude that adjacent property from being developed as residential by the City of Ripon at some point in time it is annexed into the City.”

Staff did send an opposition letter to the San Joaquin County Planning Department because of the conflict with the general plan.

However, Sprint’s agreement with the City would call for relocating the tower once again at the point when the property is annexed into the City and when moving forward with a residential project.

“(Sprint has) asked for a minimum of 15 years before they are required to relocate the tower unless the developer or property owner negotiate a buy-out with Sprint before 15 years,” Werner said.

After 15 years, Sprint would then be required to cease operations after an 18-month notice from the City.

The City could rescind the opposition letter to the County upon entering an agreement with Sprint.

Several months ago, the Ripon Unified School District met with Sprint about moving the cell tower at Weston following a public uproar over cancer cases at the campus.

Some 200 parents asked the tower to be removed after reports of cancer from four students and three teachers. RUSD has also conducted various other tests including soil and water around Weston.

For more information on the special session, log on to