Friday, August 13, 1999
Attorney general taking a closer look at cell tower moratorium
Despite verbal approval from a member of the attorney general's staff, that same state office has requested further information from the town before issuing its formal decision on the cell tower moratorium passed at the May 11 Town Meeting.
Town administrator David DeManche reported at the selectmen's meeting on August 3 that the request for information came after Nextel and Sprint complained to the attorney general about the moratorium. This spring, those two companies had responded to the town's request for proposals for the construction of a cell tower on town-owned land. The town recently rejected all bids received under the request for proposals, and, according to DeManche, there has been no challenge that this action was within the town's prerogative. Prior to the passage of the moratorium, the board of appeals denied without prejudice Nextel's application to erect a cell tower on One River Road.
The attorney general has requested documentation supporting the town's contention that Town Meeting was informed of the following during the presentation in support of the moratorium:
· that the original bylaw was seriously flawed,
· that a new, strengthened bylaw was needed to allow the town to comply with the Telecommunications Act of 1996 in ways that minimize detrimental effects to the town and its residents,
· that the process of preparing such a strengthened bylaw required time for study and revision,
· and that a six-month moratorium on construction of cell towers was needed to protect the town against the approval of an undesirable facility.
In response, the selectmen sent a letter dated August 2 which included supporting materials summarizing the presentation of Paul Gill and Donald Allen at Town Meeting.
The attorney general has until August 30 to make a determination about the validity of the moratorium.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito