Reading an article in the Press Democrat for Santa Rosa, CA where they show two separate stealth cell towers. The article is not particularly innovative- just commentary on the battle between aesthetics and wireless expansion. However, the reason that I found it interesting is that they contrast two stealth towers. (Photos from Press Democrat)
The first is a water tower at a farm:
The second is a stealth pine tree in the middle of an orchard:
Clearly, one of these accomplishes the objective of being fairly stealthy- in that it is not readily apparent without a second look where the cell tower is. The water tower is well done- fits the environment. The pine tree on the other hand is ridiculous.
The question that remains is whether the second tower is really that much better than a typical monopole in terms of visibility? This is similar to a 100′ pine tree tower near downtown Tampa that rises out of a commercial area. It is completely out of place. Seems to me that stealth towers should actually be stealthy in the area that they are located. This burden falls on the local land use planners to actually understand what they are approving.