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Petition No. 688

Cellco/Verizon

New Haven, Connecticut
Staff Report
August 26, 2004

On August 6, 2004, Council member Gerald Heffernan and staff member David Martin met Verizon representatives Ken Baldwin and Sandy Carter at the Econolodge Inn and Conference Center at 100 Pond Lily Avenue in New Haven. At this location, Verizon proposes to replace an existing 40-foot tall flagpole with an 80-foot tall stealth flagpole. Verizon would install six antennas inside the replacement flagpole, three at the 76-foot level and three at the 66-foot level. The pole would be designed to accommodate at least two other antenna installations. Verizon would also install a 12-foot by 30-foot equipment shelter adjacent to the existing hotel building. The purpose of Verizon’s proposal is to relieve capacity problems its system is currently experiencing in the vicinity of the Wilbur Cross Parkway.

Prior to deciding upon its proposal, Verizon investigated several possibilities for locating antennas in the vicinity of the Econolodge, including billboards and a cupola on top of the hotel. Verizon found no existing structures that were high enough to give Verizon the height needed to meet its coverage needs. There are AT&T antennas located on a billboard, which is on the same hotel property, near the flagpole’s proposed site. However, Verizon needed a higher elevation for its antennas.

The neighborhood of the Econolodge is predominantly commercial, although there is an area of residential development across the street to the south of the hotel. Homes in this area would be shielded from views of the proposed flagpole by the intervening hotel structure. The previously mentioned Wilbur Cross Parkway runs just north of the hotel site, which is near the western entrance of the tunnel under West Ridge.

The proposed flagpole would be visible from the Regicides Trail on top of West Ridge, but there are two taller, existing telecommunications on the ridge line.

Given the commercial development of the surrounding area and the proximity of a heavily traveled highway, the proposed flagpole should have a negligible environmental impact.