CSC: DO 249 Hartland Opinion

DOCKET NO. 249 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 Hartland, Connecticut.








September 12, 2003


On March 25, 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 Hartland, Connecticut at one of three locations identified as Site A (350 Hartland Boulevard Route 20), Site B (357 Hartland Boulevard) and Site C (also at 357 Hartland Boulevard). The primary purpose of the proposed facility would be to provide wireless telecommunications coverage to the Towns of Hartland and Granby along Route 20 (Hartland Boulevard) and adjacent areas in Hartford County.

AT&T proposes to construct a 150-foot monopole facility at either of its proposed Site A or Site B. At both sites, the height at which AT&T proposes to build the tower is higher than the minimum height needed to achieve its coverage objectives. At Site C, AT&T would construct a 120-foot tall monopole. At any of the proposed locations, AT&Ts monopole tower would be designed to accommodate up to five additional carriers. Pursuant to its offer to do so, AT&T would allow the Town of Hartland to use the proposed tower for municipal antennas at no charge.

Site A (350 Hartland Boulevard) is located on an 8 acre parcel in a R-1 zoning district that allows wireless telecommunications facilities as a special exception use. Access to the facility at this location would be via an existing gravel driveway that crosses a stream and a wetland area. The actual facility at this site would be no closer than 130 feet to a wetland area. At its proposed location, a tower at Site A would have its setback radius encompass a portion of the neighboring property to the south. Site A could be relocated to minimize the need for clearing and grading of this site. Sites B and C are located across Route 20 at 357 Hartland Boulevard and are within the same zoning district as Site A. Access to Site B would be via an existing gravel drive. There are no wetlands near this site. Site C is on the westerly edge of the same property on which Site B is located. Development of this site would require the disturbance of 5,500 square feet of wetlands. The setback radius of a tower at Site C would encompass a portion of an adjacent property, which is owned by the same person as the Site B and C property. Access to Site C would require a gravel drive to be extended across a wetland area from an existing drive.

Visibility of the three sites would be limited to a few vantage points on nearby roads. Site C was proposed because a neighbor objected to the proximity of Site B to his property. Based on the record, Site C appears to the site that would be most disruptive to the environment if it were developed.

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 would require less disruption to the environment and would provide better coverage than Sites B or C. 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 located at 350 Hartland Boulevard, Hartland, Connecticut.

Content Last Modified on 9/17/2003 8:59:50 AM