Friday, October 8, 1999
Hefty new cell tower bylaw puts onus on owner to prove the need
Paul Gill of the wireless communications advisory committee submitted an 18-page proposed bylaw to the board of selectmen for review on September 28. Gill told the board that the key points of the bylaw are to minimize the risks to the rural character of the town, to have applicants demonstrate a need for a cell tower and to have independent checks and monitoring of applicants' proposals. Gill stated that a public hearing on the bylaw is currently scheduled for October 12.
In perusing the proposed bylaw, selectman John Ballantine commented, "If I were an applicant, I would see this as a significant change in the rules. I might view it as onerous or unfair. It is a very different world than what we had six months ago."
"That's true," responded committee member Don Allen, the major architect of the bylaw, "but it's not a very different world from Concord or other towns with similar bylaws." The intent of the new bylaw, said Allen, is to have the applicants establish they have a legitimate need to have a cell tower in Carlisle. "Tweaks" to antennas already up in neighboring towns may be all that is necessary for adequate coverage, he added.
Selectman Michael Fitzgerald commended the committee for its hard work and advised that it is time for the committee to go into the "marketing phase" and make it clear to the town how the proposed bylaw differs from the existing one.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito