Friday, May 9, 2008
Historical Commission shorts, April 27
The only public hearing on the agenda concerned the application by Omnipoint Communications, Inc. (a subsidiary of T-Mobile) to place a wireless facility at the First Religious Society (FRS) at 27 School Street. Jennifer Lewis of Prince, Lobel, Glovsky and Tye, attorney for Omnipoint, brought a set of plans detailing the proposed placement of antennas in the bell tower.
Omnipoint has previously appeared before the Planning Board to request a permit for a personal wireless communication facility to be located in the FRS steeple. This facility, if approved, will be located below the Sprint wireless facility previously approved by the Planning Board. The plan has the main antennas located inside the church steeple about 60 feet above ground, while small GPS antennas would be outside, low and in back of the steeple near the church roofline. The Planning Board asked for alternative locations for placement of the GPS antennas. This was Omnipoint’s first appearance before the Historical Commission.
Historical Commission members voiced concern over Omnipoint’s proposal to install the antennas within the bell tower and replace the existing wooden panels with fiberglass “of the same color and texture,” according to Lewis. Larry Sorli (who had recused himself because he has an application pending with Omnipoint) proposed cutting holes in the panels, saving the wood and replacing it after the installation. After consulting site plans and further discussion, Sorli said, “We will be losing all of the church’s historical character if we start removing panels.”
Location of the three GPS antennas prompted further discussion and alternatives were proposed. The Commission recommended repositioning the GPS antennas further back to make them less visible, but they must face south in order to function properly.
Representing FRS, Alan Cameron proposed that he, an engineer from Omnipoint and Larry Sorli visit the bell tower “as soon as possible” to further investigate possible locations and problems for the installation.
The hearing was continued to the May 27 meeting. ∆
© 2008 The