UPDATE Work has begun on a long fought-over 85-foot cell tower near St. Luke’s School on Soundview Lane in New Canaan, CT, according to the New Canaan Advertiser. Completion of the AT&T tower is expected by early October at the four-acre site. The Connecticut Siting Council approved the project in September of 2020, but the ruling was quickly followed by a “Stop the Richey Cell Tower” campaign by local residents. The private property lot next to the school grounds is owned by the Richey family who signed a lease agreement with Homeland Towers to develop the site. Per the lease agreement, the site owners are expected to generate rental income from $2,500 to $3,000 per month.
One local said that neighbors are still not pleased. “The Soundview residents are appalled,” Roy Abramowitz said. “Heavy equipment, a torn-up road intruding onto residents’ property lines, and an unnecessary cell tower and unsightly supporting infrastructure [is] being erected in this once tranquil, serene beautiful neighborhood,” he told the Advertiser.
Site property owner Keith Richey said there has been some disruption as the road had to be dug up to lay internet lines encased in compliant conduit. “Unfortunately, the underground power and cable lines on Soundview Lane proved to be of inferior quality to handle the requirements of the cell tower,” Richey said.
Abramowitz said Richey had a “self-serving financial interest” that showed “his total disregard of his neighbors’ concerns,” according to the Advertiser. Parents of students at nearby St. Luke’s School expressed concerns at public meetings saying the tower was a threat to their children’s safety were it to collapse on their recreational fields.
The site will be surrounded by an eight-foot fence with trees and other topiary providing some camouflage around the 1,700-foot base.