Verizon is seeking approval for a 100-foot tower in scenic marsh of Scarborough, Maine, leading a group of residents to argue against it, by appealing to the local Planning Board, Portland Press Herald reported. In January 2018, the Sanitary District granted Verizon a lease for a 75-by-75 foot plot, for an annual fee of $30,000 and a monthly fee of $2,500. The tower would go up behind the town’s sewage treatment plant, only 850 feet from the edge of the marsh.
The Scarborough marsh is an attraction for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds due to its breathtaking views and diverse wildlife. The Prouts Neck Association opposes the tower as well, along with other experts hired to take on Verizon’s proposal. According to the Herald, local residents Ann Hancock and her husband are fighting the tower proposal. Ann referred to the tower as, “the middle finger on the marsh.” Also in opposition, resident Marvin Gates said, “Verizon’s doing what it does. This is about a giant that roams the Earth and puts a foot down wherever it wants.”
The residents would also like to have the cell tower ordinance changed, as the current regulations do not require Verizon to prove the tower location would improve cell coverage in the area. Residents have requested the Town Council to pass a moratorium on any new tower proposals until the zoning ordinance can be reevaluated. According to Town Manager Tom Hall, the request has not yet been considered.
Charles Anderson, Chairmen of the Trustees on the Sanitary District, said the tower could financially benefit the district, and did not site any disadvantages of its installation, the Herald reported.
Verizon’s lawyer, Scott Anderson claims the tower would improve cell coverage in the area, and it would not have a significant aesthetic effect. According to Town Planner Jay Chace, the Scarborough Planning Board agrees with Verizon that the proposed tower site is the only suitable location, as the company has completed the town’s three-step reviewing process.
November 6, 2018