The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 14, 2006


Planning Board approves changes to wireless, accessory apartment bylaws

Proposed changes to Carlisle's zoning bylaws governing wireless facilities and affordable accessory apartments received support from the Planning Board on Monday night. The next step for both proposals will be a Town Meeting vote on May 1. The public was noticeably absent from this Public Hearing, which was attended only by members of the board and the committees involved; no other members of the general Carlisle voting public attended. For a discussion of the accessory apartment bylaw, view the article in this issue.

Personal Wireless Communications Facilities

The biggest change proposed to the Personal Wireless Communication Facilities bylaw is the provision for a waiver to the 900-foot setback to existing structures (including residences, school and child care facilities) and certain wetlands and wildlife habitats. The 900-foot setback is still contained in the proposed bylaw but would be followed by a section explaining the waiver and the stringent requirements that must be met for approval by the Planning Board. The kinds of facilities that might be eligible for such a waiver are Small Form Factor Technologies, Concealed Antenna Monopoles, and/or installations in or on buildings and structures.

Brian Larson of the Wireless Bylaw Subcommittee explained that the purpose of the proposed revisions is to help "protect the character of the town" and to provide "reasonable alternatives to the 'giant setback' that has been the basis of lawsuits" which claim that it precludes wireless carriers from covering the town. He said that the town has spent over $92,000 to defend lawsuits under the existing bylaw. Revisions have also been made to "clean up" conflicting and ambiguous language and requirements.

The members of the Wireless Bylaw Subcommittee are Kent Gonzales (Planning Board), Brian Larson (Planning Board), Wendell Sykes (School Committee), Bill Tice (BOS) and Peter Yelle. They have been working on this project since the summer of 2005. (See also "Town signals wireless bylaw revisions needed" in the February 17 Mosquito.)

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito