CSC: DO 305 Opinion
Opinions

DOCKET NO. 305 - Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance, and operation of a wireless telecommunications facility located at 5 Old Farm Road or 8 Old New Hartford Road, Barkhamsted, Connecticut.

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Connecticut

Siting

Council

November 3, 2005

Opinion

On May 10, 2005, Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless (Verizon) 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 either 5 Old Farm Road or 8 Old New Hartford Road, in Barkhamsted, Connecticut. Verizon seeks to provide in-vehicle coverage to Route 44 between West Hill Road and Route 318 in Barkhamsted.

Prior to selecting the sites, Verizon searched for existing structures in the area that could provide adequate coverage to the target service area. No such structures were identified. Based on the lack of suitable existing structures and gaps in Verizonís existing coverage, the Council finds a technical need for a new tower.

At the 5 Old Farm Road site, Verizon proposes to construct a 145-foot monopole designed as a pine tree. The site is located on a 4.1-acre industrially zoned parcel developed with a single family home. The nearest off-parcel residence is approximately 900 feet to the southeast. No other off-parcel residences are within 1,000 feet of the tower site.

At the 8 Old New Hartford Road site, Verizon proposes to construct a 117-foot monopole designed as a pine tree. The 2.7-acre undeveloped parcel is zoned residential. Seven residences are within 1,000 feet of the site, the nearest of which is approximately 340 feet west of the tower site.

Development of either site would not affect any wetlands or watercourses or any rare, endangered, or special concern species. The proposed facilities would have no effect on archaeological or historic resources.

Visibility impacts of both sites would be confined to the Route 44 corridor. The 5 Old Farm Road site would be visible from three separate sections of Route 44 totaling 0.6 miles with a majority of the tower visible from some areas. The 8 Old New Hartford Road facility would be visible from three separate 0.1-mile sections of Route 44 near the site with mostly the upper portions of the tower visible. The 5 Old Farm Road site would be visible year-round from 42-acres within a two-mile radius of the site. The 8 Old New Hartford Road site would be visible year-round from 17-acres within a two-mile radius of the site.

Although the 5 Old Farm Road site may have a greater visual impact to the surrounding area, the site is in an industrial zone, remote from neighboring residences with only one residence within 1,000 feet of the site. The 8 Old New Hartford Road site is located in a residential area with seven residences within 1,000 feet of the site. The nearest residence, located at 9 Old Farm Road, would have views of the lower 80 feet of the tower and the compound area through vegetation.

The Council finds the 5 Old Farm Road site preferable due to the siteís industrial zone, remoteness from adjacent residential parcels, and comments received from a majority of the area residents who favor the 5 Old Farm Road site. Although the Council acknowledges the proposed tree tower is in area of mature evergreens, the tree tower may appear out of scale with the surroundings since the tower would extend above the existing tree canopy height by 80 to 90 feet and would have a wider profile than a typical monopole design. Therefore, the Council will order the applicant to consult with the Town of Barkhamsted to determine if a tree tower design is appropriate at the 5 Old Farm Road site.

Radio frequency power density levels at the base of the proposed 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 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 a proposed telecommunications facility at the 5 Old Farm Road site, 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 145-foot monopole telecommunications facility at 5 Old Farm Road, Barkhamsted, Connecticut, and deny the certification of proposed 8 Old New Hartford Road site.



Content Last Modified on 11/14/2005 9:24:36 AM