CSC: DO 247 Opinion Mansfield

DOCKET NO. 247 – AT&T Wireless PCS, LLC d/b/a AT&T Wireless application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance and operation of a telecommunications facility in Mansfield, Connecticut.








September 12, 2003


On March 17, 2003, AT&T Wireless PCS, LLC d/b/a AT&T Wireless (AT&T) 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 wireless telecommunications facility to be located in the Town of Mansfield, Connecticut at one of two locations identified as 497 Middle Turnpike (Site A-1) and Cedar Swamp Road (Site B). The primary purpose of the proposed facility would be to provide wireless telecommunications coverage to the Town of Mansfield along Route 44 (Middle Turnpike) and Route 195 and adjacent areas.

AT&T proposes to construct a 120-foot monopole facility at either of its proposed sites. At either location, AT&T’s monopole tower would be designed to accommodate up to five additional carriers.

Site A-1 (497 Middle Turnpike) is located on property developed as a golf course. The site would be accessible over an existing gravel road that has been extended to the proposed site. The boundary of AT&T’s lease area would be located approximately twelve feet from the property line at its closest point. As proposed, the setback radius of the proposed tower would encompass approximately 80 feet of a neighboring property. The tower location, however, should be moved to keep the setback radius within the property boundaries without a substantive change in the tower’s visibility. Although the access to Site B would be from Cedar Swamp Road, Site B is actually close to the location of Site A-1 — there is only approximately 200 feet between the proposed locations of the towers at the two sites. Access to Site B would come from Cedar Swamp over a gravel drive that would run adjacent to a neighbor’s property line and then over an existing path through a densely wooded area. The access drive to Site B would cross a small stream and would require the installation of a reinforced concrete pipe over the stream. The setback radius of the Site B tower would be completely within the property boundaries.

Both sites lie within a RAR-40 (Rural Agriculture Residence 40) zoning district — a primarily residential zoning district that requires a minimum lot size of 40,000 square feet. The visibility of either site from surrounding roads and residential areas is expected to be minimal. The Department of Environmental Protection has identified a State Species of Special Concern, the Clemmys insculpta (wood turtle), as occurring in the vicinity of the two proposed sites. Construction at either site would not affect the state's archaeological heritage. Furthermore, there are no sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places or any National Historic districts in the vicinity of the proposed sites.

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 towers 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 Site A-1 would require less disruption to the environment and would provide the same coverage as that available from Site B. We conclude that the effects associated with the construction, operation, and maintenance of the telecommunications facility at this 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 telecommunications facility at the proposed Site A-1 located at 497 Middle Turnpike, Mansfield, Connecticut.




Content Last Modified on 9/17/2003 8:56:56 AM