CSC: DO 282 Farmington Opinion
Opinions

DOCKET NO. 282 Ė 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 Farmington, Connecticut.

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Connecticut

Siting

Council

June 9, 2004

 

Opinion

On December 24, 2003, Sprint Spectrum, L.P. (Sprint) applied to the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (Certificate) for the construction, maintenance and operation of a wireless telecommunications facility to be located in the Town of Farmington, Connecticut. Sprint is proposing to develop its facility on property owned by the Town of Farmington at 1 Westerberg Drive. The property is used by the Town as the site of its wastewater treatment plant. Sprint came to this site by responding to a Request for Proposals issued by the Town for the development of a telecommunications facility on this property. Previous to the issuance of the Town RFP, Sprint had been looking for a site in this vicinity to provide service to existing coverage gaps in the area where Routes 10 and 4 intersect in Farmington.

Sprintís facility would consist of a 156-foot tall flagpole tower, designed to accommodate four carriers, and a 50-foot by 50-foot equipment compound that would be enclosed by a 12-foot high chain link fence. At the public hearing, three other carriers ó T-Mobile, Nextel, and Verizon, indicated an interest in locating on this tower. AT&T had also expressed an interest but withdrew as an intervenor in this docket. AT&Tís withdrawal created a vacancy that would enable Verizon to go onto the tower. The interest of other carriers in this location is due to the high traffic areas near the intersection of Routes 10 and 4, which this tower would serve.

The location of the facility is within the Farmington Riverís 100-year flood plain and, consequently, within a Flood Protection zoning district. All ground equipment would be installed on platforms that would be elevated above the base flood elevation to comply with minimum National Flood Insurance Program standards.

The area where the facility would be located is cleared and situated between a town storage building and a police firing range. No trees would have to be cleared for the site, and Sprint would plant trees around the compound fence to enhance its visual appearance.

The tower would be visible year-round from approximately 530 acres in the surrounding area. Most of this acreage, however, is located in the Farmington River flood plain and on the Tunxis Country Club golf course, located north of Route 4. The tower would be partially visible from a few locations within the Farmington historic district, but the aesthetic impact would be minimized by the flagpole design of the tower and mature trees between the tower and the district.

There are no known existing populations of state endangered, threatened, or species of special concern at the proposed site. A facility at this location would not have any effect on architectural or archaeological resources.

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 tower be brought into compliance with such standards. The Council will require that the power densities be remodeled in the event other carriers add antennas to the tower.

Based on the record of this proceeding, the Council concludes that the proposed facility would be well sited to provide coverage to a heavily traveled area where several carriers currently have limited or unreliable service.

Therefore, the Council finds that the effects associated with the construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed telecommunications facility, 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 156-foot stealth flagpole tower and associated ground equipment at 1 Westerberg Drive in Farmington, Connecticut.

 



Content Last Modified on 6/16/2004 1:37:26 PM