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Ripon Oks cell tower near Jack Tone & Harvest
fruit stand
The strawberry farm located west of South Jack Tone Road is where Sprint is looking to relocate its cellular tower. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT / The Bulletin

The City of Ripon has plans of someday annexing area west of South Jack Tone Road.

That’s the property consisting of a strawberry farm and where Sprint via a request with the City is looking to relocate the controversial cellular tower currently at Weston Elementary School — many believe it to be the source of cancer to several students and teachers at that Ripon Unified kindergarten- through- eighth- grade school site.

At Wednesday’s special session, the Ripon City Council agreed to move forward with the agreement with Sprint on the cellphone tower relocation despite the “15 year notice” required if or when the property across the intersection of Jack Tone and Harvest Drive is annexed and developed into residential, according to the general plan.

“It’s better there (west of Jack Tone Road) than where it is now,” Councilman Dean Uecker said.

Sprint recently submitted an application to the San Joaquin County Planning Department for the new communication tower at the unincorporated area of 23737 S. Jack Tone Road.

The agreement includes the City’s future plan of annexing that portion of the land for potential residential development

“(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,” City Administrator Kevin Werner said.

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

Staff did send an opposition letter to the San Joaquin County Planning Department because of the conflict with the general plan, which was retracted upon entering the agreement with Sprint.