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PETITION NO. 722 – Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless petition for a declaratory ruling that no Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need is required for the proposed modifications of an existing telecommunications facility located at 70 Platt Road, Shelton, Connecticut.

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Connecticut

Siting

Council

November 3, 2005

Opinion

On June 3, 2005, Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless (Verizon) petitioned the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) for a declaratory ruling that no Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need would be required for the proposed modification of an existing telecommunications facility located at 70 Platt Road in Shelton, Connecticut.

Verizon is currently located at the 150-foot level of an existing 195-foot guyed lattice tower owned by Cablevision approximately a half-mile from the Platt Road site. Although the existing Cablevision tower provides coverage to the area for Verizon, Verizon sought to add additional antennas to account for increased capacity demands. The Cablevision tower is currently at structural capacity and would require significant reinforcement or a complete re-build to support the additional antenna loading. Verizon and Cablevision could not come to terms with a new lease agreement that included a new tower at the Cablevision site. Verizon therefore seeks to modify and locate at the 70 Platt Road site to in order to provide comparable coverage to Route 8 and surrounding areas.

The existing 70 Platt Road facility is owned and operated by New Cingular Wireless LLC and consists of a 100-foot monopole supporting panel antennas owned by New Cingular at the 100-foot level and panel antennas owned by Sprint Spectrum at the 74-foot level. A single whip antenna operated by Brennan Construction is mounted at the top of the tower. A 970 square foot fenced equipment compound is located at the base of the tower.

Verizon proposes to extend the existing tower to a height of 140 feet above ground level. Verizon proposes to install 12 panel antennas on a platform at a centerline height of 140 feet. New Cingular would relocate its antennas from the 100-foot level to the 140-foot level of the tower.

The tower is located on an industrial parcel developed with several commercial buildings and storage yards used by Brennan Construction. Adjacent parcels are zoned industrial and commercial. One residence, a non-conforming use within an office park zone, is located within 1,000 feet of the site.

The primary visibility impact of the proposed extension would be from areas that already have views of the existing tower. This includes commercial and light industrial areas to the south and east, and a mix of residential and commercial uses to the west. Approximately 13 residences would have year-round views of the extended tower, a majority of which are approximately 1,300 feet to 1,500 feet west of the site.

Extending the height of the tower would allow Verizon to share the existing facility which is consistent with the Council’s charge to promote shared use of existing facilities to avoid the unnecessary proliferation of towers in the State as mandated by General Statute § 16-50aa. While the proposed extension would be visible from several residential areas and public ways, the Council believes adding an extension to the existing facility would have a marginal impact compared to potential impacts if another tower were constructed in this area.

After modification, radio frequency power density levels at the base of the tower would be well below federal and state standards for the frequencies used by wireless companies. If federal or state standards change, the Council will require that the tower be brought into compliance with such standards.

Based on the record in this proceeding, the Council will issue a declaratory ruling that the proposed extension of the existing tower located at 70 Platt Road, in Shelton, Connecticut would not have a substantial adverse environmental effect and would not require a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need.