CSC: DO 251
Opinions

DOCKET NO. 251 - Bay Communications Inc. application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance and operation of a wireless telecommunications facility at 170 Southeast Road, New Hartford, Connecticut.

}

 

}

 

}

 

Connecticut

 

Siting

 

Council

 

November 20, 2003

 

 

Opinion

 

 

On April 16, 2003, Sprint Spectrum L. P. (Sprint) applied to the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (Certificate) to construct, operate, and maintain a wireless telecommunications facility at 170 Southeast Road, New Hartford, Connecticut.  The primary purpose of the proposed facility is to provide wireless telecommunications service to Route 202 in New Hartford.

 

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.

 

The proposed tower site is located on a 64-acre undeveloped heavily wooded parcel owned by Paul Miano.  Spruce Brook, a tributary of the Nepaug Reservoir, a public drinking water supply, traverses the central portion of the parcel in a south to north direction.  The tower site is in the eastern portion of the property, approximately 150 feet from the nearest property boundary.  Although the tower site does not meet the Town’s property line setback requirement of 225 feet, the Council believes the tower site is appropriate since the abutting property is undeveloped watershed land owned by the Metropolitan District Commission.

 

A 150-foot monopole tower and an associated equipment compound would be constructed at the site.  Access to the site would be from a gravel drive emanating from Southeast Road.  Utilities would be installed above ground along the access road.  The original design of the access road extended 2,650 feet through wooded areas and crossed Spruce Brook using a culvert, impacting 2,832 feet of associated wetlands.  Sprint presented an alternate road design after the Council expressed concern that the original road design would have detrimental impacts to Spruce Brook and associated wetlands and did not take advantage of the existing network of woods roads on the property.  The alternate road design, 2,865 feet in length, follows more of the of existing woods roads on the property and crosses Spruce Brook on a bridge, impacting approximately 126 square feet of wetlands.  Although alternate access road is slightly longer than the original configuration, the amount of trees requiring removal was reduced from 133 to 74.  Due to the reduced impact on wetlands and the channel of Spruce Brook, and the reduced amount of clearing, the Council finds the alternate road design preferable. 

 

The greatest visual impact of the proposed facility would be limited to 0.25 miles of Southeast Road, approximately 0.5 miles west of the site.  Two homes and privately preserved open space are located in this vicinity.  The tower would also be visible from three short sections of Route 202; a state designated scenic roadway approximately 0.25 miles north of the site. 


 

The radio frequency power density levels at the base of the proposed tower would be well below federal and state standards.  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 a 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 150-foot monopole telecommunications facility, accessed by the alternate road design, at the proposed site.

 

 



Content Last Modified on 6/14/2005 9:33:02 AM