Friday, August 3, 2007
Shorts from the Planning Board, July 23
· Sorli Farm. Chair pro tem David Freedman continued the public hearing on the application by Omnipoint Communications, Inc. to build a personal wireless communication facility on the Sorli Farm at 1022 Westford Street. Attorney Brian Grossman and engineer Sameer Parakkavetty, representing the applicant, presented a series of photographs of the proposed site with an 80-foot-tall, two-toned monopole antenna superimposed. The brown bottom portion was intended to blend with tree trunks and the blue top portion intended to blend with sky. Larry Sorli, owner of the proposed site, entered the discussion with the comment, "Grey is the best color. Sky blue will really stick out on a grey day. The sky is always changing color." Regarding the possibility of a flag on the monopole, he said, "Anything you stick on it (the antenna) will make it more conspicuous."
At a prior meeting Grossman stated that if a 60-foot monopole tower was approved, Omnipoint would not build it. His position was it would provide insufficient coverage. (See "Sorli Farm cell tower plan reviewed," Mosquito, May 11.) The board's quandary is that other than making that assertion the applicant has not provided sufficient justification for the requested 80-foot monopole. Review of coverage simulations and drive data representations provide no clear indication that the 80-foot would preclude the necessity for one or more additional antennas between Sorli and the town center. Another Omnipoint facility, within the First Religious Society steeple, is in the planning phase.
Offering no guarantees of approval, the board suggested that the applicant consider a co-location contract with another wireless carrier within the monopole. That would provide added justification for the requested height.
The public hearing will be continued on September 10.
· Great Brook Estates. Betsy Goldenberg appeared before the board to request release of a portion of the security deposit for her subdivision at Great Brook Path off of Rutland Street. Board members were concerned because there was no formal evidence of what remained to be completed in the subdivision and the cost of such items. The security is intended to assure that such work will be completed. Other than extending the time for completion of the subdivision through September 2007 the board took no action.
· Tophet Road ANR Plan. A plan (Map 23, Parcels 22 and 23) was submitted for applicants, Steven Breitmaier and Raymond Ciccolo, for review by the board and to be signed as Approval Not Required. As summarized by Board Administrator George Mansfield, prior notations on the plan, specifically the line delineating the Wetland District, were at variance with direction received by the applicants from the Massachusetts Land Court. Assuming that the issue would be resolved and drawing notes changed to satisfy both Land Court and give the Town Building Inspector appropriate information on Wetlands, the board voted to authorize either Greg Peterson or Michael Epstein to sign the final plan at a later time.
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