The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 15, 2002


Nextel re-files River Road cell tower application

It's back! A bit of déjà vu. On February 19 digital cell phone company Nextel Communications, Inc. filed an application with the Carlisle Board of Appeals (BOA) for variances to place a cell tower at 1 River Road. And so, another round of contentious standing-room-only hearings is expected. The board will have 100 days from the time of application to give their opinion.

Earlier Nextel applications

This is the third time that Nextel has filed a cell tower application for the same site. In March 2001 the company applied for variances to place a 100-foot cell tower on the property. Last September, after numerous hearings, the company asked for a continuance on their application when American Tower Corporation (ATC) and AT&T offered them a spot on a new cellular communications tower spot proposed for 662 Bedford Road. In January this year, the board announced that Nextel had pulled out as a co-applicant in the American Tower application, calling the terms demanded by ATC "unreasonable" and the environment " exploitative." (As reported in the January 25, 2002 Mosquito, the board denied the ATC application, and a court case is pending.) The board decided instead to dismiss Nextel's River Road application without prejudice. This permitted the applicant to reapply without waiting the two years required by law.

The first Nextel River Road application, filed in 1999, was also denied without prejudice. At that time the board of health required that the property lessees remove two oil tanks before the application process could continue. There had been leakage and a full cleanup of the environment was necessary.

House addition, River Road

Peter Nash of 88 River Road requested a special permit from the board on March 7 to build an addition to the back of his 1830 antique house. This is a nonconforming lot, as the old house is built within the 40-foot setback. Even though the addition is not encroaching into the setback area, because it is a preexisting property on a nonconforming lot, property owners are required to obtain a special permit rather than a variance from the board of appeals for renovations. The addition will include 868 square feet of living space added to a 2,894 square foot house. The board voted unanimously to approve the application with the following findings:

· The square footage is significantly less than the 50 percent allowable increase.

· The proposed addition does not increase the nonconformity of the structure.

· Addition doesn't increase the degree of non-conformity.

· Addition will not be substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood.

The following conditions also apply:

· Construction is to begin within one year of the date the permit is issued.

· Construction shall conform to all other town and state regulations.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito