WHITTIER – T-Mobile has agreed to rescind controversial plans for installing a cell tower across the street from East Whittier Middle School. Instead, the mobile-phone service provider has reached agreement with the owner of the Whittier Medical Plaza, 14350 Whittier Blvd., to place the antenna on top of that building. The Whittier Design Review Board on Thursday unanimously approved the company’s plans. Those plans must next be approved by Jeff Collier, director of community development. Collier said he expects to do so in a day or two. “It’s wonderful,” said Christine Sullivan, board president of the East Whittier City School District, which had opposed placing the tower at the Second Church of Christ Scientist, 8723 Catalina Ave. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“It’s not that close to homes and will be higher up,” Sullivan said. “We just want to keep our kids out of harm’s way. If we can do that, I’m happy.” School board members and residents who live close to the location had gone to two City Council meetings to oppose the cell tower, citing health and aesthetic concerns. The council at its Sept. 25 meeting directed T-Mobile to again try to negotiate a lease with the owner of the Whittier Medical Plaza. Three days later, T-Mobile was successful. Luke Lucas, regional development manager for T-Mobile, credited the city with changing the mind of Howard Ternes, owner of Whittier Medical Plaza. Nancy Mendez, assistant city manager, said City Manager Steve Helvey had asked Ternes to reconsider signing a lease. “Perhaps the hospital realized the community’s interest in clustering cell towers in commercial areas,” Mendez said. Lucas said the change in direction is a quadruple victory. “It’s one for the community,” he said. “It’s one for the city. It’s one for the landlord and last but not least, for T-Mobile.” T-Mobile needs the cell antenna because coverage in that area is deficient, Lucas said. The problem is one of capacity, he said. When there are too many people making phone calls, the airwaves get jammed. The cell tower is expected to be built by the end of this year, he said. Collier said the city also is happy about the change. “This is the site we would have preferred in the first place because it’s a full-stealth facility,” Collier said. Collier said the antennas will not be visible. “It actually will be placed on the roof behind the parapet,” he said. “They will replace some of the tiles with a material that allows a radio signal to go through and you will never see the antennas.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!