The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 28, 2002


Woodward proposes new site to avoid lights on cell tower

The Carlisle Board of Appeals held its fourth hearing on the Woodward/Anderegg proposal to build a cell tower on their land off of Bedford Road. In addition to a presentation by David Woodward, the audience and board heard from residents of Maple Street who made their concerns known.

Avoiding tower lights

Woodward presented a new site, Site B, to the board. The proposed tower site is closer to the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. This new site would not require a 900-foot residential setback, but would require a variance to allow the tower to be placed 50 feet from the property line of the federally-owned wildlife refuge.

Critical in choosing this site is the FAA restriction that an unlit tower cannot exceed 200 feet if an airport is within three nautical miles. Hanscom Field is 2.88 nautical miles from the proposed tower. On the previous site, Site A, the tower would be taller than 200 feet. Woodward feels he can build an unlit 199-foot tower on Site B because the land is 23 feet lower than Site A. Co-applicant Gretchen Anderegg later claimed that they simply would not build a tower that needed a light.

Woodward also claimed in his presentation that this Site B was less visible and further away from public roads. He continues to need three other variances — for tower height, lattice (versus monopole) structure, and lot-line set back, as the proposal has the structure sitting on the property line between the two applicants' properties.

In making his request for the tallest possible tower within lighting restriction, Woodward's objective is to accomodate "the maximum number of carriers, and co-location is an advantageit is better than a tower farm." He is requesting a lattice type tower because "it is more commercially viable."

Resident objections

A number of residents of Maple street voiced their objections to the board. When the balloon tests were performed, Maple Street was the major residential area in which there was visibility of the balloon at the projected tower site A. Doug Goodale questioned the Woodward statement of lack of visibility of the tower, "Seven months of the year, it would be visible." He stated that a monopole is less of "an eyesore" than a lattice pole.

Sam Pietropaolo, also a resident of Maple Street said, "I'm not here to prevent construction of a cell tower...but to ensure that the board protects the property interests of all the residents." Concerns were again expressed about the height of the proposed tower. "The request for additional height is to populate the tower and not provide additional coverage," Pietropaolo added.

Another opinion

Near the end of the evening, the board heard from lawyer Peter Morin, who initially insisted he was representing Bedford Road resident David Duren and not his former employee, American Tower Corporation. When confronted with evidence from his own letter that he represented both, Moran asked the board not to quibble over details. With disbelief on the faces of board members and the not so subtle giggles in the audience, Morin continued. He claimed that Woodward's radio frequency data was laughable, told the board it was fallacious to think that a 199-foot tower would not be reviewed by the FAA, expressed concern about Woodward's historic home and even invoked the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Finally, Morin told the board that they were "Hoisted on their own petard!"

The board continued the hearing until July 2.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito