CSC: DO 255 Opinion

DOCKET NO. 255 – Message Center Management application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance and operation of a telecommunications facility in East Haddam, Connecticut.








September 19, 2003


On April 24, 2003, Message Center Management (MCM) 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 East Haddam, Connecticut on Nichols Road within the property that contains the Town’s former landfill and current transfer station. The primary purpose of the proposed facility would be to provide wireless telecommunications coverage to the Moodus area of East Haddam along portions of Route 149, the Haddam-Colchester Turnpike, and other local roads in East Haddam and Colchester.

MCM proposes to construct a 190-foot monopole facility at its proposed site. MCM’s application states that a tower of this height could support four carriers. However, up to six carriers would be able to utilize the tower. At the time of its application, MCM had one carrier, AT&T, that had entered an agreement to place antennas on the proposed tower. AT&T’s minimum acceptable height to achieve its coverage objectives was 175 feet.

MCM’s proposed facility would consist of a 60-foot by 100-foot lease area that would be enclosed by an 8-foot high chain link security fence. Access to the facility would be via Nichols Road, which is the access road from Route 149 to the Town of East Haddam’s transfer station, dog kennel, and former bulky waste landfill. Since the site is on town property, MCM has negotiated an agreement with the Town to use the property for its facility. Under the terms of the agreement, the Town has the right to place antennas at the 150-foot level of the tower for no charge.

The site is located in a R-1 zoning district — a residential district in which telecommunications towers are permitted as a Special Exception Use.

In its proposed location, MCM’s proposed tower would be visible from the nearby Moodus Reservoir, a popular boating and fishing destination. The tower would also be visible from locations along local roads and in residential areas from the southeast to the southwest within a radius between 3,500 feet to a mile.

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 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 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 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. We are concerned, however, with the visibility of this tower in an area known for its scenic character. Therefore, we will issue a Certificate for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a telecommunications facility at the proposed site on Nichols Road, East Haddam, Connecticut at a height no greater than 175 feet.

Content Last Modified on 9/25/2003 1:34:20 PM