Friday, April 16, 1999
ConsCom questions proposed River Road cell tower specifications
On April 8, the conservation commission turned to the controversial matter of the application of Nextel Communications to construct a monopole at 1 River Road, but commissioners made it clear that their jurisdiction in the matter is limited to "protection of wetlands in the vicinity." The matter of the special permit is a decision to be made by the zoning board of appeals.
As described by Mark Kublick of Nextel, the proposed tower would be a 100-foot monopole at the rear of an existing two-story research building. It would sit on a pad about five feet wide, surrounded by fence. All supporting equipment would be located inside the building.
According to Nextel's environmental engineer, the tower would be about 90 feet from an existing wetland. Construction would take place in a "previously disturbed" paved area and would be minimal, since the tower would arrive in sections and be bolted into the pad. There would be no guy wires and no flashing lights. Abutter Dana Booth questioned the adequacy of the parking area and the legality of the septic system located under it. The owner of the property, Larue Renfroe, asserted that the space was more than sufficient since Nextel was leasing an interior space previously dedicated to offices that would now be occupied, off and on, by one technician. As for the oil tanks, he admitted that they were not in conformity with current regulations, and that he would be filing a Notice of Intent (NOI) to rectify the problem within the next two weeks.
As for Booth's doubts about the accuracy of the engineering specifications, his skepticism was shared by the commissioners. Both Claire Wilcox and Smith expressed "disappointment" with the data provided. Said Wilcox, "I want to see the wetlands clearly delineated and I also want a worst case scenario as to the final size of the pole."
A second abutter doubted that the prospective sub-renters for the monopole, anticipated by Nextel, would be satisfied with the 100-foot height, particularly since nearby trees are subject to considerable growth. However, Kublick noted that town boards seldom approve height greater than what is absolutely necessary.
The public hearing was continued to April 22 to allow the applicant to refine the specifications, with particular emphasis on the size of the base pad and the character of the underlying soils.
Hillside Drive NOI
Finally, the board gave almost immediate approval to an abbreviated Notice of Intent (NOI) for acceptance of wetland delineation on a lot owned by Victor and Sallie Scherer on Hillside Drive. Upon recommendation by conservation administrator Katrina Proctor, who had walked the property, an order of resource delineation was issued.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito