CSC: Groton DO 230 Opinion
Decisions

DOCKET NO. 230 – Sprint Spectrum, L. P. application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance and operation of a cellular telecommunications facility at Welles Road, Groton, Connecticut.

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Connecticut

Siting

Council

December 19, 2002

 

Opinion

 

On July 26, 2002, Sprint Spectrum L. P. (Sprint) applied to the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (Certificate) to construct, operate, and maintain a personal communications service (PCS) facility located at the town bulky waste disposal facility on Welles Road in Groton, Connecticut. The primary purpose of the proposed facility is to provide wireless telecommunications service to existing coverage gaps along Route 184 in the Stonington-Groton area.

The proposed tower site is located on an 8.5-acre town owned lot that abuts town owned land to the north, east, and west. Although the tower site does not meet town setback requirements set forth in the town’s zoning regulations for individual parcels, the Council believes the tower site is appropriate since it is within a large block of town owned land comprised of several different parcels that are used as the town’s bulky waste disposal facility.

A 120-foot monopole tower and an associated equipment compound would be constructed at the site in an area dominated by shrubby vegetation. The terrain in the development area slopes towards three wetland areas, the closest of which is approximately 40 feet to the southeast. The Council believes moving the facility compound twenty feet to the north would provide a greater buffer to the wetland area and would address concerns raised by the town’s Inland Wetlands Agency.

The greatest visual impact of the proposed facility would be limited to the area immediately adjacent to the site, an area of mixed use containing commercial property, several residences, a highway maintenance facility and town owned land. Although the tower would be visible from Route 234 in Stonington, a state designated scenic roadway; the Council believes the tower will not be obtrusive since the affected portion of roadway is 1.2 miles from the tower site and would be visible for only two-tenths of a mile. The Council believes a flagpole facility at this location would not be beneficial due to the mixed-use nature of the area and possible reduction of service that results with a flagpole design.

The proposed site does not contain known extant populations of Federal or State endangered, threatened or special concern species; nor would the proposed construction affect the state’s archaeological heritage. Furthermore, the tower would not have an impact on the Burnett’s Corner National Historic District, approximately 1,400 feet southwest of the site.

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 facility be brought into compliance with such standards. The Council will require that the power densities be remodeled in the event other carriers locate at this facility.

 

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 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 when compared to need, are not in conflict with policies of the State concerning such effects, and are not sufficient reason to deny this application. Therefore, we will issue a Certificate for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a 120-foot monopole telecommunications facility at the proposed site with the condition that the compound be moved twenty feet to the north to provide a greater buffer to adjacent wetland areas.

 

 



Content Last Modified on 12/23/2002 11:40:30 AM