CSC: DO 271 (Sprint-Guilford) Opinion
Opinions

DOCKET NO. 271 - Sprint Spectrum, L.P., d/b/a Sprint PCS application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance and operation of a wireless telecommunications facility at 370 Rockland Road or 4158 Durham Road, Guilford, Connecticut.

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Connecticut

 

Siting

 

Council

 

April 15, 2004

 

 

Opinion

 

On October 6, 2003, Sprint Spectrum L.P. d/b/a Sprint PCS (Sprint) 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 370 Rockland Road (Site A) or 4158 Durham Road (Site B) in Guilford, Connecticut.  An adjacent property owner to proposed Site A, the Guilford Land Conservation Trust, Inc. (GLCT), was a party in this proceeding.  AT&T Wireless PCS, LLC d/b/a AT&T Wireless (AT&T) 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 existing gaps along Route 77.    

 

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 is located within an approximately 87 acre parcel owned by the Woodbridge Sportsmen Club, Inc., which is zoned residential (R-8).  Proposed Site A would consist of a 150-foot monopole.  Clearing of approximately 12 trees that are six inches in diameter at breast height (dbh) or greater would be required for the construction of the proposed site and access road.  A condominimum complex with 20 units are the only residences located within the 1,000-foot radius of proposed Site A, which is approximately 730 feet to the northwest.  The nearest portion of the Mattabesett Trail, which is part of the Connecticut Blue Blaze Trail System, is approximately 0.45 miles to the northeast of proposed Site A.  The proposed Site A access road crosses an intermittent watercourse and three wetlands were identified in proximity to the lease area and immediately adjoining a portion of the proposed access road.  Sprint proposes to replace two existing culverts with three 24 inch reinforced pipes to allow passage for fish and other aquatic organisms.  Drainage swales would be added to both sides of the paved portion of the access road to the north and south of the existing wetland and stream crossing to allow treatment of stormwater runoff.

 

Proposed Site B is located within an approximately 34 acre parcel owned by the New Haven Sportsmens Club, Inc., which is zoned residential (R-8).  Proposed Site B would consist of a 160-foot monopole.  Clearing of approximately 100 trees that are six inches dbh or greater would have to be removed for the construction of the proposed site and access road.  There are seven residences within a 1,000-foot radius of proposed Site B, the nearest of which is located 803 feet to the north.  The nearest portion of the Mattabesett Trail is approximately 0.6 miles to the northeast of proposed Site B.     

 

The visibility of the 150-foot proposed Site A tower is expected to impact approximately 44 acres, while the 160-foot proposed Site B tower is expected to impact approximately 16 acres of the study area.  Although proposed Site A would be visible from a larger area, proposed Site B would have a more direct visual impact to adjacent residential properties.  Proposed Site A would be visible from approximately 12 residences while proposed Site B would be visible from approximately 24 residences.  Proposed Site B would have a greater visual impact on travelers using Route 77, which has been designated a State scenic road, and from the eastern shore of Quonnipaug Lake.  The Council will require that all carriers, locating on the proposed facility, install t-bar antenna mounts on the proposed tower to reduce the visibility impact.

 

The proposed access to Site A would be an existing gravel access road extending from Rockland Road to the proposed site for a distance of 1,350 feet.  Sprint proposes to pave the first 520 feet of the existing access road.  Rip rap aprons with pressure treated spreaders would be installed at 160 feet, 340 feet and 370 feet into the proposed access road.  The existing culvert that is located approximately 280 feet into the access road would be upgraded.  Utilities would run overhead along the access road from a nearby utility pole on 11 poles to the proposed Site A compound.  The proposed access to Site B would extend from Durham Road to the proposed site for a distance of 1,280 feet.  The first 170 feet of the proposed access road would run over a shared gravel right-of-way, then for approximately 870 feet over an existing gravel access road, and from there a new 12-foot wide gravel access road would be constructed for approximately 240 feet to proposed Site B.  Utilities would run overhead on eight to twelve poles to the proposed Site B compound.   

 

Development of either of the proposed sites would not affect Connecticutís archaeological heritage. 

 

After considering both proposed sites, the Council finds Site A preferable.  Site A would have less visual impact on residences and travelers on Route 77 than Site B.  Site A would also provide better coverage along Route 77 than Site B. 

 

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, the Council finds that the effects associated with the construction, operation, and maintenance of the telecommunications facility at proposed Site B, 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 150-foot monopole with t-bar antenna mounts at Site A located at 370 Rockland Road in Guilford, Connecticut and deny certification of Site B.

 

 

 



Content Last Modified on 4/20/2004 12:34:36 PM