It will be taller than the Washington Monument and wider than a city street, and it bears a passing resemblance to the Eiffel Tower. The partially built emergency communications tower for the District already looms over the two- and three-story Northwest neighborhood of Brightwood.

The 761-foot, three-legged steel tower will be the largest free-standing structure in the city when it is completed next month. A project of television station WFTY (Channel 50) and the District government, the tower is expected to enhance reception for the station as well as improve communications for the city's police, fire and ambulance services.

Although neighbors applaud any improvement in the city's emergency communications, many are not happy about the "monstrosity" at the rear of the 4th Police District building at 6001 Georgia Ave. NW.

"We voted to oppose the construction of the tower in 1986," said David Green, chairman of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B. "We had concerns about its non-aesthetics and about safety factors. But it must have had more pluses than minuses, because the city is building it now."

Because the tower serves the District government, no zoning hearing was required and the ANC's opposition did not affect the city's plans.

The new tower will replace a single-column, 509-foot tower on the 4th District's parking lot. The original tower, built in 1977, was for city use only.

In 1981, the police department requested approval to allow commercial businesses to lease space on the tower. The city's Board of Zoning Adjustment approved the application that would allow Channel 50 to use the tower. In a later decision, however, the board did not approve the police department's request for other businesses to use the tower because no applicants appeared at the hearing.

WFTY, owned by Hill Broadcasting Inc., is paying for the construction of the tower in exchange for the use of city land. Sources familiar with the project estimate the cost of construction at $2 million.

Ken White, a vice president of WFTY and the chief financial officer for the station, said: "We needed a tower and the city needed a tower. We saw this as a chance to do something for the city. It is a great deal for everybody."

White said the new tower would be a source of income for the city because space will be available for lease to other business. He declined to say how much money the city would make or to identify any potential customers.

Pat Ryan, promotion director for WFTY, said White would be handling the leasing contracts for the city. She said her company would recoup some of its investment through increased advertising revenue because the new tower will allow the station to reach more people. Channel 50 specializes in vintage TV shows, current movies and wrestling matches.

D.C. Police Inspector Donald Christian, who is in charge of the department's communications division, said the new tower will produce a stronger signal covering a greater range and that will enhance the safety of residents and visitors in the city.

Christian was not surprised when told the neighbors were not as pleased as he was about the new tower, which is named for retired communications chief John S. Hughes.

"I remember when the first tower was built," he said. "Everybody's reaction was 'wow' and 'what is this?' Anytime there is something new, it will draw attention."

The partially constructed tower has drawn the attention of Charlie Glenn, the advisory neighborhood commissioner for the area around the police building.

"In the way of beauty, it offers nothing," said Glenn, a longtime resident of Brightwood. "It is a very strange structure."

Glenn said his neighbors, some of whom had experienced TV interference when the old tower was built, were concerned that their reception would worsen with the new tower.

"Back when we had that meeting {in September 1986}, we were left with the understanding that the tower would be built regardless of what we thought about it," he said.

D.C. Council member Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4) said through a spokeswoman that she thought the concerns of the neighborhood had been addressed at the ANC meeting and she had not received any complaints about the new tower.

Tony Giancola, one of the general directors of Neighbors Ink, a citizens association that includes Brightwood, said it is the scale of the tower that bothers him.

"It is such a tall building for such a small space," he said.

Then he added jokingly, "Maybe Channel 50 and the city are missing a real opportunity here. We could declare it a tourist attraction and offer views from the top. There could be shops at the base. This could be the city's Eiffel Tower."