CSC: DO 276 Opinion Tolland
Opinions

DOCKET NO. 276 AT&T Wireless PCS, LLC d/b/a AT&T Wireless application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance and operation of a wireless telecommunications facility at 319 Peter Green Road or 455 Crystal Lake Road, Tolland, Connecticut.

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Connecticut

Siting

Council

October 26, 2004

Opinion

On October 31, 2003, AT&T Wireless PCS, LLC d/b/a AT&T Wireless 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 120-foot wireless telecommunications facility at either 319 Peter Green Road, referred to as Site A, or 455 Crystal Lake Road, referred to as Site B, in Tolland, Connecticut. The purpose of the proposed facility is to provide wireless telecommunications service to Route 30 in northwest Tolland.

The Council has carefully analyzed the record in this proceeding including an evaluation of the applicants proposed coverage objectives, existing facilities in the area, and alternative properties and structures. Although AT&T Wireless is located on four existing towers within two miles of the sites, a 1.4-mile coverage gap is present on Route 30. AT&T Wireless did not identify any existing structures within the search ring that would be able to provide adequate service to this coverage gap. Based on the lack of suitable existing structures and the substantial gap in existing coverage on Route 30, the Council finds a technical need for a new tower.

Proposed Site A is located on a 69-acre undeveloped, wooded parcel east of Route 30. Access to the tower site would be from a gravel drive of new construction extending from Route 30. Fifteen residences are within 1,000 feet of the proposed site. The nearest residence is approximately 530 feet west of the tower site. The nearest property line is approximately 320 feet west of the tower site. No wetlands or watercourses are near the site development area.

Proposed Site B consists of two contiguous properties west of Route 30; a 3.4-acre residentially developed parcel and a 9.8-acre wooded, undeveloped parcel. The tower site would be located in the central portion of the undeveloped parcel with an access road traversing the residentially developed parcel from Browns Bridge Road. Fourteen residences are located within 1,000 feet of the tower site with the nearest residence approximately 350 feet to the southeast. The nearest property line is approximately 175 feet southeast of the tower site. No wetlands or watercourses are near the site development area.

The area surrounding the sites is hilly and mostly forested with some residential development. Very few open areas or new subdivisions are present except for the Old Orchard Way subdivision and the Crystal Springs Village development, a planned adult community. Both developments would have year-round views of the Site B tower. There would be no year-round views of the Site A tower from surrounding residential areas. Seasonal views of the Site A tower would be less than the Site B tower due to the greater amount of vegetation surrounding Site A and the distance between the sites and surrounding homes. The Site A tower may be seasonally visible through dense vegetation from six homes approximately 600 feet away. The Site B tower and compound would be seasonally visible from four homes less than 600 feet away.

An analysis of propagation models indicates Site B would provide more coverage than Site A to local roads east and west of Route 30. In addition, Site B would provide a stronger signal to Route 30 north of the sites. Although coverage from Site B is superior, both sites would meet coverage objectives on Route 30 and would provide sufficient handoff capability to adjacent sites.

After reviewing the record in this proceeding, the Council finds Site A preferable. Site A provides a greater buffer to adjacent property lines and residences. Site A is also less visually obtrusive than Site B and is favored by the Town of Tolland. Although coverage from Site B is stronger than Site A, AT&T Wireless indicated the site is acceptable.

Radio frequency power density levels at the base of the Site A tower will 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 conform to 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 A, 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 120-foot monopole telecommunications facility at Site A, 319 Peter Green Road, Tolland, Connecticut, and deny the certification of Site B.



Content Last Modified on 10/29/2004 10:23:03 AM