By Chip Munday
Late in the summer of 2014, representatives of Verizon Wireless approached the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association with the idea of constructing a small telecommunications facility and a mono-pine tower on association property.
Verizon wanted to address inadequacies of service for their customers living in and visiting the Pagosa Lakes area. Of particular concern is the area near the central core and other commercial areas near U.S. 160. This is the most densely populated area and, during peak times when all of the lodging and timeshare units are occupied, service interruptions such as dropped calls can be regular occurrences. Verizon sought to address this by increasing their coverage in this zone and identified a prime location for another tower based on a number of technological factors. That location is on Pagosa Lakes property above Lake Forest near the greenbelt that divides the area between Antelope Avenue to the east and Lake Forest Circle to the west.
Over the course of the following months, architects and engineers worked on conceiving a plan where the development would be as unobtrusive as possible. As a result, the tower will be a “mono-pine,” which looks very much like a tall ponderosa pine and will stand among the existing ponderosas. The structure housing all of the communications equipment will likewise be tucked into the forest and will be designed to appear as an old miner’s shed.