No “Way,” Says School Committee Concerning Verizon Tower

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UPDATE The Wayland School Committee recently rejected a proposal from Verizon Wireless to construct a tower on school grounds, reported The MetroWest Daily News. The project was initially for a 70-foot extension on top of an existing 80-foot light pole on the football field, which then changed to a monopole design, according to Town Planner Sarkis Sarkisian.

“In general, we felt the community opposition we’ve already heard, and the personal feelings of the committee members made it not worth moving forward,” committee Chairwoman Jeanne Downs said.

The community and the Wayland Board of Health opposed the tower due to potential health risks even though Board member John Schuler acknowledged scientific studies are not definitive on the potential health dangers of cell towers. Although a community can’t reject a tower based on health concerns, according to Verizon lawyer Chris Swiniarski, the School Committee was not in violation, because it represented the property owner, and an owner isn’t required to give a reason when approving or rejecting a tower.

Verizon’s next step is to seek a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals to construct the tower at the Wayland Rod and Gun Club to close a service coverage gap, said Swiniarski. However, Gun Club neighbors oppose the tower as well, calling it an eyesore that would hurt property values, reported the Daily News.

June 27, 2019

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