CSC: DO 238 Guilford Opinion

DOCKET NO. 238 - Sprint Spectrum, L.P. d/b/a Sprint PCS application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance and operation of a wireless telecommunications facility located at 2381 Long Hill Road, Guilford, Connecticut.








May 6, 2003


On December 24, 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 2381 Long Hill Road in Guilford, Connecticut. AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. (AT&T) intervened in the proceeding and expressed a willingness to share the proposed telecommunications facility. The purpose of the proposed facility is to provide wireless telecommunications service to Guilford in the vicinity of Long Hill Road, Route 80, and Route 77.

The public need for wireless telephone facilities has been determined both by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 which has declared a general public need for wireless service, established a market structure for system development, and developed technical standards that have restricted the design of facilities. These pre-emptive determinations by the FCC have resulted in a system of numerous wireless telecommunications facilities in nearly all areas of the country. Connecticut State law directs the Council to balance the need for development of proposed cellular telecommunications facilities with the need to protect the environment, including public health and safety.

The proposed site includes a 180-foot monopole within a 13-acre property, which is surrounded by residential properties and undeveloped, forested land. The proposed site is located within a residential zone (R-5). Removal of two trees with diameters of six inches or greater at breast height would be required to construct the proposed site and access road. There is one residence within a 1000-foot radius of the proposed site, the nearest of which is that of the property owner, located approximately 925 feet to the north.

The visibility of the proposed tower would be expected to impact areas of Long Hill Road, two sections of Route 80 to the north of the proposed site, and seasonally along Route 77. A 180-foot tower would not result in a significant visibility impact but would provide adequate coverage to the surrounding area.

The tower radius area would extend onto the property of the adjacent landowners to the north, east, and south. Sprint could move the tower farther from the adjacent properties without causing a substantial change in coverage at the same elevation. The Council will require that Sprint construct the tower in such a way as to keep the tower radius on the property on which the tower is proposed.

Proposed access to the site is an existing 925-foot access road, which would be upgraded and resurfaced with gravel, and an additional 500 feet of new access road. Sprint proposes to install three gates along the access road; the first would replace a section of fencing and a stone wall crossing, the second would be approximately 200 feet after the first, and the third would be installed at the end of the exiting access road. The proposed access road is approximately 6 feet from the adjacent landowner’s property, at its closest point. The proposed access road crosses or abuts seven wetland areas. Given the close proximity of the proposed access road to the adjacent property and the crossing of wetlands, the Council will require that the access road be rerouted to another location farther from the property boundary and to minimize wetland crossings.

Development of the proposed site would have no effect on historic, architectural or archeological resources listed on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

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, the Council finds 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, the Council will issue a Certificate for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a 180-foot monopole telecommunications facility at 2381 Long Hill Road in Guilford, Connecticut with the tower radius just within the property boundaries. The Council will not approve the proposed location of the tower or the proposed access road. A new access road and the final placement of the tower should be considered as part of the Development and Management Plan.






Content Last Modified on 6/2/2003 11:23:35 AM