The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 1, 2002


The January 16 decision by the Carlisle Board of Appeals (BOA) denying variances sought by AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless in order to construct a cell phone tower at 662 Bedford Road has been appealed by the applicants in three recently filed lawsuits, two in the federal district court and one in the Commonwealth's Middlesex Superior Court. All named the town, the board of appeals and each of the members of the BOA, as they are members and associate members of the BOA. The substance of each suit claims that the BOA's denial of the application for variances violated the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Both Verizon and AT&T claim that there is a substantial gap in cell phone coverage in Carlisle and that they had planned to remedy that problem by placing a cell phone tower at 662 Bedford Road. Both also claimed that they presented the BOA with sufficient evidence to grant the variances and that the BOA arbitrarily denied the application.

AT&T goes on to add that the town's bylaw was adopted with the intention of precluding wireless service throughout much of the town in that few, if any, sites in Carlisle could meet the stringent criteria of the bylaw. The complaints allege a host of other problems with the BOA's decision including participation by a board member who did not hear all the evidence presented and the board's speculation as to other sites that might be more suitable with fewer variances.

The upshot of the complaints is to seek a speedy decision by the courts to override the BOA's decision and compel the town to accept a cell tower at 662 Bedford Road.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito