Proposed Lakewood Tower Encounters Stiff Opposition Upstate

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While Up State Tower Construction and Blue Wireless think a 180-foot cell tower in Lakewood, NY, is necessary to provide better coverage in the area, village residents are not convinced. The list of grievances include lack of an archaeological study to wetlands preservation.

At this week’s Lakewood Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, both sides discussed the tower that could be built on property off Glenwood Avenue, owned by the Lakewood Fire Company. According to the Post-Journal, the deputy chairperson of the zoning board, Myra V. Blasius, told the board that the tower’s application had to meet four criteria:

  1. the proposed tower must be necessary to cover an actual gap in cellular service
  2. the proposed tower of 180 feet is the minimal height necessary to meet reasonable service objectives
  3. the applicant must have considered alternative sites
  4. the proposed tower is the least intrusive design possible

Residents argued the proposed tower brings an “obtrusive and unwanted eyesore to a community passionate about its scenery,” according to the Post-Journal. Additionally, Blasius argued the tower’s possible vantage points taken by a recent balloon test were “seemingly cherry-picked by the company to make the tower look more unobtrusive.”

Attorney for Up State Tower Construction and Blue Wireless, Matthew Kerwin, argued the tower will fill a “glaring” coverage gap for Blue Wireless customers in Lakewood, while also fulfilling the company’s commitments to its FCC license. Kerwin illustrated his coverage point by providing propagation maps. He said if the 180-foot tower was reduced to 150 feet, 53 percent less geography and 41 percent less of the population would be covered.

Residents argued that Blue Wireless doesn’t have the customer base in that area to warrant a tower of that size. Blasius has requested that Kerwin provides more information not only about Blue Wireless’ FCC requirements but the coverage necessary for the area. Additionally, according to the Post-Journal, the board asked that Kerwin “provide more evidence that school districts and property owners were consulted during the search for alternative sites” along with a proposal of two 90-foot towers instead of one 180-foot structure.

November 30, 2016

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