The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 12, 2002


Nextel a no-show at BOA hearing

What would you think if you gave a party, and the guest of honor didn't show? The Carlisle Board of Appeals (BOA) had the Clark room at Town Hall all set up on Thursday night, April 4, and lots of town folk came out, but the honored guest, Nextel Communications, was a no-show.

Nextel Communications has again petitioned the Carlisle Board of Appeals for variances to the town bylaws to construct a telecommunications facility at 1 River Road. The initial application was made in 1999. However, at that time the board of health required the property owners at this site to remove old oil tanks on the land before the application could move forward. Last year, Nextel repetitioned the BOA for variances to construct a 100-foot stealth cell tower.

Then last September, when ATT and the American Cell Tower negotiated a lease on the Duren property at 662 Bedford Road to build a 150-foot monopine cellular communications tower, Nextel asked the board for a continuance, temporarily dropping their plan to build a tower at 1 River Road. Instead the board dismissed without prejudice their application, which allowed the company to reapply without waiting a prerequisite two years. Last January, Nextel pulled out of the American Tower petition citing its concern with the terms demanded by American Tower, claiming them to be "unreasonable" and calling the environment "exploitative."

While the American Tower plan lies mired within the courts, having sued the town for denying their application, not surprisingly, Nextel resurrected their initial plan and submitted it to the BOA. However, no one representing the company showed up at eight o'clock, After waiting 40 minutes for a spokesperson to come, the board tried to call both the property owner at 1 River Road, and Nextel. There was no response.

The board discussed how best to proceed. In the past board member Midge Eliassen said they have given the benefit of the doubt to the petitioner and allowed the application to continue until the next meeting without taking any action. However, in this case, the board is given only 100 days to make a final decision based on the date of the initial application, which had been February 19, two days too late to make last month's agenda. Thus the board was worried about the time squeeze that would result from beginning discussion at the next scheduled meeting which is May 2.

The board decided to deny without prejudice the Nextel application to construct a cellular tower. This allows the company to reapply immediately instead of waiting the necessary two years. If Nextel were to reapply, the 100-day deadline for decision making would begin based on the next application.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito