Friday, August 27, 1999
Cell tower moratorium approved
On August 18, the town received in writing the Commonwealth's approval of a six-month moratorium on the construction of cellular communication towers. Last May, Town Meeting voters clearly endorsed the moratorium which would allow time for revisions to the cellular communications zoning bylaw but recent probing by the state attorney general's office made local officials nervous about whether the Warrant Article 35 would be deemed legal. The positive ruling from the state concurred with the advice selectmen had received from town counsel.
Since the clock began ticking on May 11, a group of volunteers has been hard at work crafting revisions to the existing bylaw for cellular communication facilities. Don Allen of the wireless communications advisory committee stopped by the planning board meeting on August 16 to warn members that the moratorium ends on November 11. "We need to get approval before the moratorium turns into a pumpkin," explained Allen. The committee has completed a preliminary draft of the new bylaw and now must start the formal process of acceptance.
"We got a flow chart of the bylaw approval process from [town administrator] David Demanche," said Allen. To meet the November 11 deadline, there needs to be a special Town Meeting in October or early November. The planning board must hold a public hearing 21 days prior to the Town Meeting and announcement of the hearing has to be published in the local paper two weeks before that. This explains the sense of urgency that prompted Allen to raise a red flag in August.
Allen said he expected the board of selectmen to choose the Town Meeting date at their next meeting. "In the meantime, I'll send a draft of the new bylaw to each member of the planning board," he concluded. (See story on page 6)
In the letter from the attorney general's office, the zoning change in Warrant Article 25 was also approved, which means that physicians and dentists must obtain special permits to operate their businesses in a residential zone.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito