CSC: DO 277 Dissenting Opinion

DOCKET NO. 277 – Sprint Spectrum, L.P. application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance and operation of a telecommunications facility in Torrington, Connecticut.








April 26, 2004

Dissenting Opinion

This docket presents a variant on the old saying: "Between a rock and a hard place." We are faced with siting a tower adjacent to a state park (the rock) or in a residential area (a hard place). We would prefer to do neither, but we do not have that luxury because a new site is clearly needed in that area.

The principal environmental impact of a cellular communication tower is its visibility to the surrounding area. Site A calls for a 198-foot tower off Burr Mountain Road adjacent to and visible from several locations in Burr Pond State Park, including its recreational trails and waters. State Parks should be one of the last places to site a commercial tower. State Parks are a state-wide treasure and serve as a refuge and an escape from intrusions of urban and commercial development. They are maintained with public funds for the benefit of all citizens of the state. Site A encroaches on Burr Mountain State Park and visually impacts all those who use it for outdoor recreation and relaxation. We believe that allowing a tower in this location is contrary to the Council’s obligation to protect the State’s scenic and recreation values of its forests and parks.

Site B calls for a 122-foot tower in an area that is zoned residential. We should avoid a residential area unless the proposed alternative is worse. The residents in Site B’s area are concerned about the visibility and health effects of a cellular tower. However, the record is clear that a 122-foot tower in the location selected would pose no health problems and would not be visible to any of the concerned residents in that area.

Sometimes the Council has no choice but to allow some encroachment on the visual integrity of a State Park. The Council is not faced with such a choice in this docket. Site B is a viable alternative to Site A and preferable to intruding on a State Park.


Colin C. Tait, Vice Chairman


Brian J. Emerick, designee for
Commissioner Arthur Rocque

Content Last Modified on 5/12/2004 12:28:29 PM