CSC: DO 250 Bristol
Opinions

DOCKET NO. 250 - 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 wireless telecommunications facility at 371 Terryville Avenue or 522 Terryville Avenue, Bristol, Connecticut.

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Connecticut

Siting

Council

October 14, 2003

Opinion

On March 31, 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, operation, and maintenance of a wireless telecommunications facility at 371 Terryville Avenue (Site A) or 522 Terryville Avenue (Site B) in Bristol, Connecticut. Sprint Spectrum L.P. d/b/a Sprint PCS (Sprint) intervened in the proceeding and expressed a willingness to share either of the proposed telecommunications facilities. The purpose of the proposed facility is to provide wireless telecommunications service to Bristol, particularly along Route 6 and adjacent areas.

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.

Proposed Site A consists of a 160-foot monopole within a 10.7-acre property owned by Laviero Realty, LLC and is within an area designated as an Industrial Zone. The Laviero property is developed as a construction business, which includes a parking lot and storage area with some buildings. Removal of 11 trees with diameters of six inches or greater at breast height will be required to construct the proposed site and access road. There are 23 residences within 1,000 feet of proposed Site A. The nearest residence is approximately 475 feet to the east/northeast. The proposed Site A compound is located on a slope on the lessorís property. Relocation of the proposed Site A compound to the east will allow it to be situated on a flat slope but will decrease the ground elevation at the base of the tower. If the proposed Site A compound is moved, AT&T will increase the tower height by 10 feet to a height of 170 feet above ground level (AGL).

Proposed Site B consists of a 100-foot monopole within a 41.95-acre property owned by St. Joseph Church Corp. and is within an area designated as a residential zone (R-25). The proposed Site B tower would be constructed with the ability to extend to 120 feet to accommodate additional carriers. Removal of eight trees with diameters of six inches or greater at breast height will be required to construct the proposed site and access road. There are 40 residences within 1,000 feet of proposed Site B. The nearest residence is approximately 350 feet to the southwest. A stream is located approximately 100 feet to the northeast of the proposed Site B compound within the ownerís property. Erosion and Sediment controls would be installed during construction of the proposed facility to protect nearby wetlands.

The visibility of the proposed Site A and Site B towers will be limited from nearby roads due to topography and existing vegetation. The proposed Site A tower will be visible from portions of Route 6, Hill Street, and seasonally visible from some residential areas in the vicinity of the site. The proposed Site B tower will be visible from portions of Route 6, Hill Street and residential areas to the north and east of the site. The proposed Site B tower will have more of a visual impact on residential areas than the proposed Site A tower.

The tower setback radius of the proposed Site A tower will extend onto an adjacent property to the west owned by St. Joseph Church Corp. AT&T will design a tower at proposed Site A with a failure point that will reduce the tower setback radius in the event that the tower fell. The tower setback radius of the proposed Site B tower will be within the lessorís property.

The proposed access to the Site A compound is a new gravel access road extending approximately 300 feet from Route 6 to the compound. The Site A access road cuts into a slope, which will be protected with riprap where necessary. Telephone and electrical utilities will be installed underground along the proposed access road to the Site A compound. AT&T could use the existing driveway and parking area for access to the proposed Site A compound to avoid a road cut from Route 6 and to minimize environmental impact. Proposed access to Site B is an existing paved drive through the cemetery for a distance of approximately 995 feet, an existing gravel drive and dirt area for approximately 535 feet, and a new gravel access drive would be constructed for approximately 105 feet to the compound. Telephone and electrical utilities will be installed underground along the proposed access drive to the Site B compound.

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

After comparing the two sites, the Council finds Site A is preferable to Site B, as does the City of Bristol. Site A is within an Industrial Zone, with fewer residences surrounding it than Site B. However, the Council will require moving the tower compound approximately 20 feet to 30 feet to the east, in a lower and more level location, and increasing the tower height to 170 feet to compensate for the loss in ground elevation. The Council will also require that the existing driveway and parking lot be used to access the site, rather than a new driveway accessing from Route 6.

Radio frequency power density levels at the base of the proposed towers will 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 proposed Site A, 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 170-foot monopole telecommunications facility at the Site A location at 371 Terryville Avenue in Bristol, Connecticut and deny the certification of Site B.



Content Last Modified on 10/23/2003 8:03:50 AM