CSC: DO 269 - North Branford Opinion
Opinions

DOCKET NO. 269 - Site Acquisitions, Inc. d/b/a Metro Tower application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance and operation of a wireless telecommunications facility located at 80 Old Post Road, North Branford, Connecticut.

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Connecticut

Siting

Council

August 12, 2004

Opinion

On September 24, 2003, Site Acquisitions, Inc., d/b/a Metro Tower (Metro) 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 80 Old Post Road in North Branford, Connecticut. The Old Post Road Stop the Tower Association and the Town of North Branford were parties in this proceeding. Senator William A. Aniskovich, Representative Robert M. Ward, and Ochenkowski Towers LLC were intervenors in the proceeding. AT&T Wireless PCS, LLC d/b/a AT&T Wireless, and Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems, LLC d/b/a Cingular Wireless, LLC (Cingular) also intervened in the proceeding and expressed an interest to locate on the proposed facility. The purpose of the proposed facility is to provide wireless telecommunications service to existing gaps along Route 17, Route 150, and Route 22 and adjacent areas.

The proposed site is located within an approximately five acre parcel, which is located within a Residential (R-40) zone. Metro proposes to construct a 150-foot monopole designed to accommodate six carriers within a 60-foot by 100-foot equipment compound. Cingular would locate antennas at the 150-foot level of the proposed tower and AT&T Wireless would locate at the 140-foot level of the proposed tower. The top of the antennas would not exceed a height of 153 feet above ground level (agl).

While the proposed site would provide coverage to existing gaps along Route 17, Route 150, Route 22, and surrounding areas the proposed location of this tower is in close proximity to surrounding residents. There are 56 residences within a 1,000-foot radius of the proposed site, the nearest of which is the property owner’s residence located 240 feet to the southeast. The nearest home to the west is 498 feet away, on Glenmeadow Road. The nearest home to the east is 504 feet away, located at 82 Old Post Road. The nearest home to the south is 576 feet away, located on Pistapaug Road.

A viewshed analysis was conducted for the proposed tower within a two mile radius study area. The proposed tower would be visible year-round from approximately 152 acres of the study area and from an additional 85 acres seasonally. Year-round visibility would be expected from portions of Old Post Road, Dayton Hill Road, Pistapaug Road, Woodhouse Avenue, Glenmeadow Drive, Totoket Road and Village Street. Seasonal visibility would be expected from Pistapaug Road, Woodhouse Avenue, Glenmeadow Drive, Totoket Road and Coach Drive. The proposed tower would be visible from approximately 40 houses year round and an additional 30 to 35 houses seasonally.

Based on this analysis, we find that the visual impact of the proposed tower would be significantly greater than a typical tower facility, due to the large number of homes close to the proposed site.

Although Metro has developed an adequate case for the need for a tower in the North Branford area, we find that the proposed tower’s specific location at this particular site is inappropriate.

 

 

 

After considering all of the relevant concerns in this docket, we find that the visual impact that would result from the construction and operation of the proposed tower would outweigh the need for its existence. Consequently, due to the visual impact of the proposed tower on the surrounding neighbors, we will deny this site without prejudice. We encourage the applicant to explore other alternative sites in the area, including renewed efforts to contact property owners who did not respond to the applicant’s initial contacts, and a concerted effort to find another site with less visual impact on residents.



Content Last Modified on 8/18/2004 12:21:47 PM