The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 28, 2007


Planning Board hears FRS wireless facility request

Chairman Michael Epstein opened the public hearing on the application for a special permit and site plan approval for a personal wireless communication facility to be located in the steeple of the First Religious Society (FRS) at 27 School Street. Attorney Edward D. Pare, Jr. (Brown and Rudnick), Muhammad Ibrahim (radio frequency engineer) and Joe Pereira (Terra Search) represented the applicant, Sprint Nextel Corp.

The plans show twelve antennas contained within the church steeple. With the exception of three air conditioning units, to be located in back and at the north side of the church annex, all elements of the facility will be located within the steeple and the annex attic. The air conditioners provide cooling for equipment cabinets located in the attic. The Sprint antennas will be located at 89 feet above grade and the Nextel antennas at 82 feet. David Maxson (Broadcast Signal), the board's peer review consultant, pointed out the presence of three small GPS antennas that would be mounted external to the steeple.

During the discussion Alan Cameron, representing the church, said that Omnipoint also has a signed agreement with the FRS. Omnipoint has received a special permit for a facility in the cupola at the Erickson Farm at 866 Lowell Street and has an application before the board for a monopole cell tower at the Sorli Farm (1022 Westford Street). Although Omnipoint is not part of the present application, Pereira said that the third air conditioner that is shown in the plans is reserved for Omnipoint.

Ibrahim presented maps representing results of drive-by tests that had been conducted by using a continuous wave transmitter mounted on a crane at the proposed antenna height (see photo page 1.) A specially instrumented vehicle with an externally mounted receiving antenna recorded the cell phone signal. Data was presented for Sprint, and Nextel data will be available prior to the next scheduled hearing.

Epstein acknowledged receipt of a letter from Paul McCormack (School Street) expressing concern about a wireless facility near the Carlisle Public School. Jack O'Connor (Church Street) asked if a backup power generator was involved with the facility. Pare responded that backup batteries are to be provided but no generator. Jenifer Bush said, "In addition to the fence and screening I hope provision is made for noise buffering. Three AC units is a lot."

Bob Koning, Carlisle Building Inspector, expressed concern on three topics: the town clock that is located in the steeple, visibility of coax cable runs within the steeple and the structural impact of the proposed modifications.

The public hearing will be continued at 9:30 p.m. on October 22.

For the Historical Commission review of this project, see related article on page 12.

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito