CSC: DO 223 Middlefield Opinion
Opinions

DOCKET NO. 223 - Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance and operation of a cellular telecommunications facility at 484 Meriden Road, Middlefield, Connecticut.

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Connecticut

 

Siting

 

Council

 

July 11, 2002

 

Opinion

 

On January 11, 2002, Crown Atlantic Company LLC (Crown) and Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless (Cellco) applied to the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (Certificate) to construct, operate, and maintain a cellular telecommunications facility located at 484 Meriden Road in Middlefield, Connecticut.  AT&T Wireless PCS, LLC d/b/a AT&T Wireless (AT&T) became an intervenor to this application.

 

The primary purpose of the proposed 150-foot monopole facility is to provide wireless telecommunications coverage to existing gaps on Route 66 and Route 147, and local roads, in Middlefield.

 

The proposed site is located in the northwest corner of an approximate 3.49-acre parcel located immediately north of the intersection of Routes 66 and 147.  The parcel, zoned Planned Commercial, is used for residential and commercial purposes and includes an existing 45-foot telecommunications tower used by Cellco.  This tower would be removed once the proposed tower is operational.  The immediate surrounding area consists of heavily forested land owned by the Middletown Water Department. 

 

Propagation modeling indicates Cellco can achieve coverage objectives along Route 66 with antennas located at 150 feet.  Antennas at this height will allow for call handoff capability to proposed Cellco sites west of Beseck Mountain in Meriden and proposed and existing sites in Middletown.  Antennas located at a lower height would leave a gap in coverage on Route 66 west of Route 147.  Antennas located at 150 feet will also provide coverage to 1.1 miles of Route 147 and allow for call handoff capability to a proposed Nextel facility located at the Middlefield Town Hall.  AT&T can meet coverage objectives along the Route 66 and Route 147 corridors with antennas located at 90 feet, however, AT&T seeks to locate at the 130-foot level of the tower. 

 

Due to area topography, visibility impacts would be minimal.  The greatest impact would be from the intersection of Routes 66 and 147, approximately 300 feet south of the proposed site.  However, only one residential home, located on the lessorís property, is in this vicinity.  The tower would not be visible from any residential developments except possibly in winter months at the end of Louis Drive, approximately 0.7 miles to the southeast.  The tower will also be visible for a short distance from Route 66 westbound, approximately 0.3 miles east of the site.  Visibility impacts, therefore, would be greatest to motorists rather than homeowners.  

 

A slight visual impact will occur at the trailhead of a spur trail of the Mattabesett Trail, a hiking trail maintained by the Connecticut Forest and Parks Association (CFPA).  The spur trail is located on the site parcel, approximately 240 feet south of the proposed tower site.  The CFPA, however, has determined the proposed tower would have no impact on the Mattabesett Trail. 

 

Development of the proposed site would require clearing of approximately 13 trees with diameters of 6-inches or greater at breast height for development of an approximately 60-foot long access drive and 3,600 square-foot compound area.  Although the nearest wetland area is 24 feet from the compound, impacts to this sensitive area should be negligible as long as adequate soil erosion controls are maintained.

 

 

The proposed site does not contain known extant populations of Federal or State Endangered, Threatened or Special Concern Species; nor would the proposed construction affect the stateís archaeological heritage. Furthermore, there are no sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places or any National Historic districts in the vicinity of the proposed site.

 

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 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 the 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 at the proposed site.



Content Last Modified on 6/14/2005 9:34:23 AM