Historic church wants to add a 50-foot tall bell tower to its property, with a bell that won't work.By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — One of Sacramento’s historic churches wants to add a 50-foot bell tower to its property, with a bell that won’t work. That’s because it will actually be a cell tower.

The Shiloh Baptist Church in Oak Park is recognized as a historic landmark in Sacramento. Now this sacred spot may also house a cell tower, built as part of an agreement with Verizon Wireless.

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Renderings show the proposed cell tower built in the shape of a church bell tower with the sign of a cross decorating the siding.

Neighbors recently received notice of the proposed stealth cell tower.

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Jah Ra Elbey lives next door to the church.

“My humble opinion, I think that’s being very deceptive,” Elbey said. “Because it’s masking the feature of what it’s supposed to be.”

Alan Fulstone lives across the street.

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“Maybe [I’ll] get better reception,” Fulstone said. “I don’t know.”

At the Parkside Community Church in South Land Park, the city approved a faux cell tower made to look like a bell tower in 2007. Caution signs are posted on the tower warning of radiofrequency.

Several letters of opposition have been filed with the Sacramento city hall over radiofrequency safety concerns for the proposed Shiloh Baptist Church cell tower. A Sacramento city staff report shows the church application certifies the proposed tower complies with the FCC’s regulations.

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“It’s very important that the church is transparent and inclusive with the community,” neighbor Andriana Garcia said.

A church delivering a Sunday sermon with new cell reception. People who live in this Oak Park neighbor now wonder, will it be a welcome addition or neighborhood nuisance?

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Sacramento city staff is recommending the church cell tower be approved. A vote is set for next Thursday.