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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Atkinson selectmen set another hearing on cell tower plan

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson selectmen set another hearing on cell tower plan
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — Selectmen are hoping a hearing Monday on a proposal to add three new antennas to the Hog Hill Tower will give them all the answers they need to make a decision.

SBA Tower II owns the 160-foot tower and has wanted to add three antennas since 2006.

A public hearing was scheduled for last month, but company representatives weren't prepared to reveal all the details of the plan. Selectmen have said they won't make a decision until all of the details are explained in a public forum so residents can comment.

"I expect to hear a lot from the applicant and the public," Selectman Bill Friel said.

The current proposal is almost identical to the one denied a special exception by the town's Zoning Board of Adjustment in March 2007. After that decision, SBA Tower II filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court. A federal judge ruled in September 2008 it was up to the selectmen to decide the case. At the time of the ZBA decision, the tower was owned by Marine Tower.

Selectmen and some nearby residents said part of the problem with the new proposal is that there have been changes made over the years that were never approved by the town. Previous owners failed to get required annual inspections from the town and landscape the property as expected.

But at a meeting last month with selectmen, SBA Tower's attorney, Steven Grill, said things will be different this time. Grill said the company is committed to complying with the town's rules and notifying them of changes.

Some residents can't wait for the antennas to help improve cell phone coverage.

Selectmen's Chairman Fred Childs said approving the proposal could pave the way for other telecommunications companies putting antennas on the tower.

"Once they get the permit, they can't refuse another company," Childs said.

The current proposal is for T-Mobile customers.

Selectmen said they will made a decision on the proposal at a later date.

The meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Atkinson Town Hall.


Anonymous said...

It is not the antennas that are the problem, other than weight, it is the equipment trailers for each and every antenna at the bottom of the tower in a residential neighborhood. No fall zone. Violated court agreements...

Anonymous said...

Who cares! The Hogg Hillies didn't give a damn about the towns water so why not fill the tower with equipment, also emergency communications equipment, and save the town the cost of more tower debate?

Anonymous said...

I don't believe there are any equipment trailers up there, only a single utility building, on a foundation, that serves all the equipment on the tower. Much of what August 15, 2009 3:38 PM says is old news.

The fall zone also falls within the property, not onto anyone elses property.

The previous tower owners were indeed neglectful and sometime deceitful in their dealings with the neighbors and the town, but tower now has a new owner who has promised to not follow the old ways, and the town will be watching, closely.

And, lets not forget this, that tower was there long before many, if not all of the homes up there. It is not like it popped up overnight. They knew it was there and bought anyways. Some of their complaints are valid, but many are like the new home owner who buys a house next to a dairy farm and then complains about the smell.

So, August 15, 2009 3:38 PM, take a walk up there and tell us how many equipment trailers are really up there.

Anonymous said...

They are at or over the allowed capacity. If they allow them to add more equipment, you can bet the town will want space for police equipment too.

If I lived there, I would also be against this. They should find a location that is not residential to be putting this equipment.

Has anyone asked the Chief if they can put a tower on his property? After all, he is right next door. If he wants a tower, put it in his front yard.

Anonymous said...

Yes it has been there for years, but it has also been in court since 1984 too.

And that was the issue three years ago, if you break the agreement to put communications equipment up there, then cell companies can break it too. Then you have even more equipment on a towner that was not designed to handle all of it. Then they will want to replace it with a modern monopole tower, that can hold much more equipment then we are really off and running, and you wont care because it is not in YOUR backyard. But it IS in SOMEBODY's backyard, isnt it?

Anonymous said...

Like I said, the tower was their before the neighbors.

And how do you know the tower is overloaded? Have you reviewed the eningineering study?

Again, people talking about which they know nothing.

Anonymous said...

Cell sites represent some serious capital investment. No cell company would even consider Hog Hill unless they were 100% confident the tower was good.

Would you invest $100K plus if you weren't sure?

Anonymous said...

Yes, and I feel for them.

Anonymous said...

Of course it had to turn into a police issue somewhere down the line...hey moron...the fire department uses and needs clear radio communication, as well.

Anonymous said...

Hey moron, you are the first person to mention police.

That was the issue three years ago, before Brian Kaye was hounded out of town.

The hillies were afraid that if the town broke the agreement to put communications equip up there, then cell companies could do the same.

As for the load on the tower, that was also one of the issues in court, and I doubt that you have read the engineering study either, but you still feel qualified to render an opinion.

Anonymous said...

PS: three years ago, when phil and billy were screaming at us in the town meeting, Mike Murphy said that the fire dept, didn't need the $400,000 worth of equipment in Billy's proposal.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please post about what happened at the monday meeting? I was at work and missed it.

Anonymous said...

That tower has been there for years and least in the 70s and probaby even before. As I recall, Woodside Drive was not; neither was Far View Hill or Stone Pound Lane. There might have been one house on High Hill.

Our present zoning was adopted in 1980-1981. Somebody ought to look back in the records to see what businesses were classified as
pre-existing and therefore exempt from zoning.

Anonymous said...

Its actually been there for about 50 years, long before any abutters.