The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 19, 2002


Height of proposed cell tower reduced to 185 feet

Largely in response to neighbors' concerns, David Woodward and Gretchen Anderegg of Bedford Road revised their cell tower application lowering the height of the proposed tower from 199 feet to 185 feet. Woodward told the Carlisle Board of Appeals on July 2 that tree height in the area is 100 feet and by placing the first carrier at 110 feet, with ten feet between each carrier, their tower could accommodate five carriers.

Variances needed from BOA

Although the town by-laws permit only a stealth design monopole tower, the applicants' request is for a lattice tower, "because it is more functional and more commercially viable." Two other variances sought are property line issues. The tower is proposed to be sited within 50 feet of federal property and on the property line of the two applicants, Woodward and Anderegg. The applicants reiterated the desirability of placing a tower in a location far away from other neighbors or houses, unlike the last two proposals at 1 River Road, and 662 Bedford Road. The final variance requested is for a generator.

Issues for other boards

Woodward also told the board that he has looked into the issue raised at the last meeting, that his house is potentially an historic one. Built in 1731, the house and its proximity to the tower at 2,500 feet may be a matter for the historical commission. However, Woodward said that this is not an issue until he submits his plan to the planning board. In addition, the proximity of the tower to the airport in Bedford and an application for review by the FAA, is also a matter to be handled at the next stage of the process, at the planning board.

Christine Kavalauskus of the conservation commission reported that she had asked the federal fish and wildlife representative about the placement of a tower so close to the federal land. She had been told that setbacks were not an issue. Fish and wildlife authorities involve themselves only if endangered animals are present.

Opposition from abutters

A number of abutters continued to express their concerns about the height and type of the proposed tower. Beverly Morrison, a Maple Street resident, was concerned that in the winter the lattice tower would be visible.

Matt Hamor of Bedford Road told the board that the application should be denied or withdrawn claiming that the maps that the applicant used were inaccurate. "[The absence] of vernal pools and isolated flooding must be proven by professional land surveyers," he claimed. He was especially upset that as an abutter he was not notified of the plans by Woodward.

Board of appeals member Midge Eliassen corrected Hamor as to the method of informing abutters. She told him that it was not Woodward's responsibility to notify abutters, but the board's. The board notifies abutters based on a list provided by the assessors. The board confirmed with its secretary that letters were indeed mailed to those abutters whose names had been provided by the assessors.

Sam Pietropoulus of Maple Street agreed with Hamor that a number of abutters had not been informed. He told the board that the changes in the applicants' requests for variances was problematic. He claimed that there were deficiencies throughout the application and reiterated what he had said in the past, that "commercial convenience doesn't replace hardship" as a justification for variances.

Support from non-abutters

A number of residents spoke up in support of the cell tower location. Dana Booth of 44 River Road said that the applicants "were trying to do the best for the town with the least amount of damage." Diane Bleday of Elizabeth Ridge Road said, "there are many bad choices. This is the least of the worst." Patricia Simpson who was active in opposing the siting of the cell tower on the Duren property read a letter in support of the Woodward/Anderegg application.

The board will meet again on August 1 to discuss the application.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito