CSC: DO 257 Lebanon Opinion
Opinions

DOCKET NO. 257 - 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 1593 Exeter Road or one of two sites on Levita Road, Lebanon, Connecticut.

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Connecticut

 

Siting

 

Council

 

October 29, 2003

 

 

Opinion

 

 

On May 9, 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 1593 Exeter Road or one of two sites on Levita Road, Lebanon, Connecticut.  The purpose of the proposed facility is to provide wireless telecommunications service to Route 207 in western Lebanon. 

 

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 150-foot monopole facility in the central portion of an undeveloped 16-acre parcel owned by Harold and Florence Leibman at 1593 Exeter Road.  The access road follows an existing overgrown dirt road to the tower site in an old field area surrounded by bands of trees 50 to 55 feet in height.  The site is not located near any wetlands or watercourses.  Eight residences and one commercial structure are within 1,000 feet of the site.

 

Proposed Site B is located on a 70-acre agricultural parcel owned by Botticello, Inc. that fronts Levita Road and Old Colchester Road.  Site B is located in a shrubby area 265 feet from Old Colchester Road and consists of a 150-foot monopole facility.  A wetland is 50 feet and 150 feet from the access road and compound area, respectively.  Site development would be within a Town designated 100-foot wetland buffer area and would require the removal of shrubby vegetation.  Three residences and one commercial structure are within 1,000 feet of the site. 

 

Proposed Site C, a 170-foot monopole facility, is located in a cornfield on the Botticello Property and is 1,600 feet southeast of Site B.  Access would be from a 130-foot access road extending from Levita Road.  The site is 100 feet west of a wetland.  Site development would occur within the Towns wetland buffer zone and would require the removal of two trees.  There are no structures within 1,000 feet of the site.  The nearest residence is approximately 1,200 feet west of the site.

 

Visibility of Sites A and B are similar with Site A having slightly less visibility from area roads and residences in the immediate vicinity.  Site A would be visible from 0.7 miles of roads and four residences whereas Site B would be visible from 0.9 miles of roads and six residences.  Site C, least visible of the three sites, would visible from 0.5 miles of roads and one residence in the immediate vicinity.  In addition to homes in close proximity to the sites, all three sites would be visible from residences along the northeast shore of Williams Pond. However, the views would be from a distance greater than one-mile and are not considered significant. 

 

The Council has carefully analyzed propagation models prepared for the proposed sites including an analysis of coverage from adjacent sites.  The proposed sites are designed to provide handoff capability to an adjacent AT&T facility to the east, located at 859 Goshen Hill Road in Lebanon.  No existing structures are at a height sufficient enough to provide coverage to the target service area.  Consequently, based on a detailed analysis of propagation and signal strength, the Council finds a technical need for a new tower.

 

Sites A and B offer comparable coverage to the target service area.  Both, however, would leave a 0.2-mile gap in coverage between the proposed sites and the existing Goshen Hill Road site.  Site A offers the best coverage to this gap area.  Despite the gap, AT&Ts coverage design would only require a height of 120 feet at either Site A or Site B.  AT&T applied for a height of 150 feet in these location to allow or a greater tower sharing ability. 

 

Proposed Site C provides marginal coverage to the target service area and would leave a 0.7-mile gap in coverage on Route 207 in the vicinity of Williams Pond that would result in a dropped call.  Consequently, the Council finds that Site C is not a viable candidate.  

 

After reviewing the record in this proceeding, we find that Site A offers the best coverage to the target service area, is less visible than Site B, and would not impact town designated wetland buffer zones.  The Council therefore will approve the Site A facility with a maximum tower height of 120 feet above ground level.  In addition, the Council will order the installation of a foundation sufficient to accommodate a tower extension to a height of 150 feet and order all panel antennas installed on the tower to be flush mounted or installed on T-arm mounts. 

 

Radio frequency power density levels at the base of the proposed tower 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 120-foot monopole telecommunications facility at Site A, 1593 Exeter Road, Lebanon, Connecticut, and deny the certification of Site B and Site C.



Content Last Modified on 12/3/2003 10:33:39 AM