Cell Service Still Has a Prayer at a Chapel in East Hampton

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Better cell service could be coming to East Hampton, New York if AT&T prayers are answered. First discussed in 2015, the option to hide an antenna in the bell tower is back on the table, reports the East Hampton Star. Reception in the surrounding area is poor, and a signal in this location should improve service, according to the telecom.

 “We are reviving the application,” said AT&T attorney David Bronston. “It’s been four years of trying to come up with an acceptable solution for the planning board and the Architectural Review Board.” When the proposal was first put before the East Hampton Planning Board, the installation was rejected. The original plan put a tower on the roof disguised as a steeple; the revised version would hide the equipment in a bell tower, or campanile.

The Very Rev. Denis Brunelle of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Hampton explained, “This was the design urged on us by the A.R.B. and the planning board in lieu of a steeple or separate pole, which were not feasible or acceptable.” In order to move forward, the proposal would need variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals, including a special permit for building near freshwater wetlands, reports the East Hampton Star.

Not all members of the planning board support the campanile design and would prefer a separate structure on a more remote area of the church grounds. Disputes over property lines and the correct measuring of the parcels of land would need to be settled before this option could be considered viable. The planning board voted in favor of requesting lot line modifications, thus delaying construction of any new tower. 

August 22, 2019   

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