CSC: DO 233 New Milford Opinion

DOCKET NO. 233 - 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 399 Chestnut Land Road, New Milford, Connecticut.







May 20, 2003


On October 2, 2002 Sprint Spectrum, L. P. (Sprint) applied to the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (Certificate) for the construction, maintenance and operation of a 160-foot monopole wireless telecommunications facility at 399 Chestnut Land Road in New Milford, Connecticut. The applicant, The Town of Washington and the Northville Residents’ Association are parties to this proceeding, AT&T Wireless PCS, LLC (AT&T) and Mr. Fred Rickerich are intervenors in this proceeding.

The primary purpose of the proposed facility is to provide wireless telecommunications coverage to existing gaps on Route 202 in New Milford and Route 109 in New Milford and Washington. Two carriers have committed to locating at this facility, Sprint and AT&T.

The Council has carefully analyzed the record in this proceeding including an evaluation of existing Sprint and AT&T sites in the area, proposed coverage objectives, and alternative properties and structures. Locating antennas on existing structures in the area would not be able to provide coverage to both Route 109 and Route 202. Consequently, the Council finds a technical need for a new tower. Once the need was established, the Council further examined analysis of coverage needs at various antenna heights to determine the proper height of a facility at the proposed location. The Council believes lowering the tower could compromise the coverage needs of Sprint since a new coverage gap on Route 202 would occur if antennas were lowered from the proposed height of 160 feet above ground level (agl) to 140 feet agl.

The proposed tower site is located at the base of a rocky knob in a wooded portion of a 14-acre parcel used for agricultural purposes. The Council examined the possibility of placing a lower monopole tower or stealth tower on the knob in an attempt to reduce visibility. However, the knob location would increase visibility due to a low treeline and the knob’s high elevation compared to surrounding topography. In addition, the tower would be closer to residential parcels west of the site. The Council believes the proposed site location, on the east side of the knob, offers increased screening from residential properties to the west, the most sensitive visual receptors in the area. The tower would also be visible from Route 109 in the vicinity of the site. The area surrounding the site area is primarily agricultural although several residential developments exist. The Council also examined visibility from the Town of Washington and concluded views of the tower would be primarily isolated and distant with the closest view from eight tenths of a mile away.

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 historical or archaeological heritage. Development of the site would not disturb designated wetlands although the access road would be in close proximity of two wetland areas. The site would not require aviation lighting or marking. The tower radius would be contained within the site parcel with the closest property boundary located approximately 400 feet west of the site.

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 160-foot monopole telecommunications facility at the proposed site located at 399 Chestnut Land Road, New Milford, Connecticut.

















Content Last Modified on 6/2/2003 11:41:39 AM