Friday, April 10, 2009
Town Meeting to vote on proposed wireless bylaw revisions
Applying experience gained in using the existing wireless bylaw, the Planning Board is proposing several changes that will further its intent, notably: to minimize the impact of cell towers and other personal wireless communication facilities on the character of the community, while facilitating beneficial use of personal wireless services. The changes will be presented for a vote at the Annual Town Meeting.
Prominent in the proposed revision is a list of preferred priorities to be referenced when the Planning Board considers a carrier’s application for a Special Permit for a wireless facility. The list encourages installations within pre-existing structures, camouflaging facilities attached to pre-existing structures, and co-locating with another carrier rather than building another wireless tower. Further, the list seeks to encourage the use of the least visually intrusive technology available in the industry.
Sections of the bylaw related to maximum height will be modified. An existing tower could be increased in height by 10 feet to accommodate co-location with another carrier. Height would be limited to 80 feet in an area with no significant tree cover. Where there is tree cover, maximum height would be 10 feet above the existing canopy.
The section related to tower setback from lot lines would be changed. The current bylaw requires a setback of 1.5 times the height of the tower. The proposal will permit this to be reduced to one times the height if the board finds that a better design will result without having visual or safety impacts.
The current bylaw has no expiration date for a special permit. This would be changed to three years unless extended for two more years. The Planning Board could allow longer periods for priority facilities. ∆
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