CSC: Docket No. 232 Eastford Opinion
Decisions

DOCKET NO. 232 - Sprint Spectrum, L.P. application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance and operation of a wireless telecommunications facility at one of two sites located on Chaplin Road, Eastford, Connecticut.

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Connecticut

Siting

Council

January 28, 2003

Opinion

On August 22, 2002, Sprint Spectrum L.P., d/b/a Sprint PCS (Sprint) applied to the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (Certificate) for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a wireless telecommunications facility at the DeSiato property (Site A), 97 Chaplin Road in Eastford, Connecticut or at the Willis property (Site B) off of Chaplin Road in Eastford, Connecticut.

The primary purpose of the proposed facility is to provide wireless telecommunications coverage to existing coverage gaps on Route 198, and to a lesser extent, on Route 44 in Eastford. Sprint proposes to construct a 150-foot monopole facility at Site A and a 130-foot monopole facility at Site B. Although a 130-foot facility at Site A or a 110-foot facility at Site B would provide adequate coverage to the targeted service area, the Council believes approving the height requested at either site would provide a greater opportunity for tower sharing, preventing the proliferation of tower structures in the area.

Both proposed sites are in wooded areas on properties that have been previously disturbed by sand and gravel extraction activities. The Site A parcel is still used as an extraction area. The Site B parcel is used to process earthen materials such as soil and wood products. The parcels, located in the rural Natchaug River valley, abut each other. Neither site development area contains wetlands or watercourses or any known populations of federal or state endangered threatened or special concern species. Although development of both sites would require the removal of a similar amount of trees over 6 inches in diameter, development of Site B would require the removal of a greater amount of vegetation and would result in more land disturbance to accommodate the access road. The access road to Site B would extend 1,180 feet, would require a three quarter acre area of grading, and would require 740 feet of rip rap lined drainage ditches, whereas the access road to Site A would only be 740 feet long, require 2,300 square feet of grading and would not need rip rap lined drainage features. In addition, utilities for Site A would be installed underground along the access road whereas utilities at Site B would be routed aboveground through an easement north of the access road. Due to a lesser amount of land disturbance and a shorter access road, we find proposed Site A preferable.

Sensitive visual receptors in the vicinity of both sites are the Charlie Brown Campground, Peppertree Campground, and motorists along Route 198. Although the visual impact of either tower is similar, the Council believes a tower at Site B would be visible from both campground areas whereas a tower at Site A would only affect the Charlie Brown Campground; therefore we find proposed Site A preferable. The visual impact to motorists along Route 198 from either site would not be great since the road is bordered by woodlands and contains many curves that direct views away from the towers.

Development of either site would have no effect on historic, architectural or archeological resources listed on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Construction of compound and drainage features at Site A would result in the disturbance of 180 feet of a substantial stone wall. The Council recognizes stone walls as historical and cultural features unique to the region that should be preserved if possible. The Council will condition the approval of Site A to preserve this cultural resource.

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 proposed Site A, 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 150-foot monopole telecommunications facility at proposed Site A located at 97 Chaplin Road in Eastford, Connecticut. The Council will condition the approval in order to preserve a substantial stone wall located in the Site A development area. The Council will deny certification of the proposed Site B.

 



Content Last Modified on 2/3/2003 11:37:21 AM