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IMPACT STUDY SOUGHT FOR TOWER PLAN

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by Rich, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. Rich

    Rich Bronze Senior Member
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    MPACT STUDY SOUGHT FOR TOWER PLAN

    Saturday April 20 12:00am
    The Buffalo News
    Hearing opposition from a state agency, the town Planning Board and neighboring landowners, the Town of Aurora Zoning Board of Appeals has ruled that a 180-foot wireless telecommunications tower proposed for 251 Quaker Road will harm the environment, thus prompting a request for an environmental impact study.

    Thursday's action came after the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation weighed in with "strongest possible" opposition to the tower, proposed on land that abuts Knox Farm State Park.

    In a letter read at Thursday's meeting, the state agency cited a number of factors behind its opposition: "adverse visual impacts on . . . Knox Farm State Park," harm to the "historical character" of the park, "deep reservations over the potential impacts of the tower on birds" and concerns about safety on the "heavily used" soccer fields.

    The town Planning Board also enumerated concerns in a letter to the Zoning Board of Appeals, including setbacks, visual aesthetics in both the Village of East Aurora and the town, and the potential drop in value of neighboring property. The Planning Board also asked if the village should be part of the approval process.

    Property owners next to the proposed site have contended that approval of the tower would prevent them from proceeding with planned residential development.

    Richard Glover, one of 11 principals of 350 Quaker Road Association, has stated that "approval of this application will render the usage of our property unsuitable for residential development as dictated by the current (residential) designation."

    According to town code, a tower cannot be placed within 500 feet of a residence. However, Glover expects no residential development to be allowed within 500 feet of a tower. The property line of 350 Quaker is 61 feet from the proposed tower site.

    "This request is tantamount to condemnation by the town of our property at no cost to the town," Glover charged.

    SBA Properties, owned by SBA Towers of Boca Raton, Fla., has requested a special-use permit to lease an 80-by-80-foot parcel on land owned by the town in order to build a 180-foot tower.

    SBA, which owns 70 towers in Western New York, was represented at the meeting by SBA attorney Jeffrey D. Scherzer and property specialist Jackie Heagney.

    According to their application, SBA has a contractual agreement with two wireless carriers, Devon Mobile Communications and Nextel Partners.

    An antenna for Devon would be located on the tower at 170 feet, with an outdoor equipment cabinet on the ground about the size of a refrigerator.

    A Nextel antenna would go below the Devon antenna, with a 12-by-20-foot shelter on the ground. A 70-by-70-foot area would be surrounded by a chain-link fence topped by barbed wire, for a total height of 7 feet.

    Because the tower would be less than 200 feet tall, Federal Aviation Administration regulations require no lighting, though Mercy Flight may request it.

    The Aurora town code requires that any such tower be located at least 800 feet from a public road or right of way, and at least 500 feet from any residence. The code also calls for co-location whenever possible. Scherzer maintains that all co-location possibilities have been exhausted.

    The next Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, May 16 at 7 p.m., will set out the requirements for the environmental impact study by SBA.
     
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