CSC: Docket No. 220 Opinion

DOCKET NO. 220 - Connecticut Agricultural Towers LLC application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance and operation of a cellular telecommunications facility at 14 Osborn Hill Road, or 151 Berkshire Road (Route 34), Sandy Hook/Newtown, Connecticut.  }






June 3, 2002 


On November 8, 2001, James E. Dwyer Company (Dwyer), applied to the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a cellular telecommunications facility in the Town of Newtown, Connecticut.  The proposed prime site is located at 14 Osborn Hill Road, and the proposed alternate site is at 151 Berkshire Road (Route 34), Newtown, Connecticut.

The applicant has shown the need for a tower in the area of southeast Newtown to cover existing personal communication service (PCS) and cellular telephone coverage gaps on Route 34 and on local Newtown roads.  At both proposed sites, coverage differences between antennas mounted 150 feet above ground level and 110 feet above ground level were found to be minimal; for this reason, we believe a 120-foot tower capable of supporting three carriers initially would be sufficient at this time.

The proposed site is located in an area in which 11 residences are within a 1000-foot radius of the proposed site.  A tower on Osborn Hill would be prominently visible to many homes on local roads and a new subdivision.  The alternate tower, on Route 34, would have only 3 residences within a 1000-foot radius.  The alternate tower would have less visual impact than the prime site tower; however, it would still be visible from sections of Route 34 and portions of several other nearby roads.

Electromagnetic radio frequency power density levels are a concern of the Council.  However, the radio frequency power density levels at the base of the proposed tower would be well below federal and State standards for the frequencies used by wireless companies.  If federal or State standards change, the Council will require that the tower be brought into compliance with such standards.  The Council will require that the power densities be remodeled in the event other carriers add antennas to this tower.

Based on the record in this proceeding, we find that the effects associated with the construction, operation, and maintenance of the telecommunications facility at the proposed alternate site, including effects on the natural environment; ecological integrity and balance; public health and safety; scenic, historic, and recreational values; forests and parks; air and water purity; and fish and wildlife are not disproportionate either alone or cumulatively with other effects, and are not sufficient reason to deny this application.

Therefore, the Council will issue a Certificate for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a telecommunications facility at the proposed alternate Newtown site, and deny certification of the proposed prime site.  The Council will order the construction of a 120-foot monopole at the proposed alternate site, 151 Berkshire Road, Newtown, Connecticut.  The approved tower shall be constructed in a manner capable of extension to include additional future carriers, as required, via a petition to the Council. If future carriers demonstrate the need for additional heights above ground level for antennas at this site, the applicant may petition the Council for a determination that no certificate of environmental compatibility and public need would be required.  The Council will require the Certificate Holder to submit a Development and Management (D&M) Plan prior to the commencement of construction with a final site plan to include the location and specifications of the tower, equipment building, fencing, access road, utility line and site landscaping.

Content Last Modified on 6/14/2005 9:14:44 AM