Agricultural Testing and Alternative Designs Make a Case for Tower

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Verizon Wireless filed an application seeking a use variance and site plan approval to construct a 120-foot monopole, intended to sit in the center of a 50-foot by 50-foot equipment compound on 5.9-acres of residential property, reported centraljersey.com. The variance is necessary because the tower is not technically allowed in the Manalapan’s Rural Agricultural zoning district.

During the Manalapan Zoning Board meeting last week, two new designs were proposed, in lieu of a monopole. The first design presented was a monopine and the second a concrete silo topped with a fiberglass dome which will house the antenna. Zoning board members did not express a design preference at the time of the meeting.

There was much research into the viability of the location, based on the Rural Agricultural zoning rules.   

After testing of the proposed property, it was determined that there are no wetlands or wetlands transition areas and according to soil tests that were conducted, the presence of historic pesticides was below accepted standards and not an issue. An archeological investigation determined the property has no historical significance. Additionally, if the tower is constructed on the proposed property, it will not impede the sight lines of either the nearby battlefield or railroad line.

Regarding concerns of reduced property values, Mark Tinder, an appraisal expert who testified at the meeting, said that for some younger homebuyers in today’s market, “it does seem more and more that a lack of service can be a deal breaker for some people … people said they would not buy a home without reliable service.”

Testimony and discussion of the application are expected to continue at the August 31 zoning board meeting.

August 17, 2017                 

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