A cemetery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will soon be home to a 125-foot cell tower. The City Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve a conditional use permit for its construction. This will be the first cell tower in Cedar Rapids to be located on cemetery property. John Linge, owner of Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery Association and Cedar Memorial Funeral Home Co., stated, “cell towers in cemeteries are popping up across Iowa as a way to raise revenue to support cemetery lot owners. Small rural cemeteries, in particular, can consider the lease revenue generated by the placement of a cell tower in a cemetery a ‘godsend’.”
This is a benefit to telecom companies who receive more revenue from expanding customer services, but did Cedar Memorial Cemetery receive fair value for the use of its property to house the cell tower? Vertical Consultants has worked with all types of property owners, from companies to individuals, who are being paid below-market value for the use of their property. The primary reason for this is the lack of information and representation provided for these entities. Ample information and representation from a true landowner advocate are key factors these industries need in order to optimize the use of their properties. Vertical Consultants has made its mission to provide our clients the data they need. While telecom companies have professionals on their side who know the true value of every tower site they control, property owners should have advocates working for them determining options to optimize their telecom assets.