T-Mobile is a Steeplechaser in New Haven

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T-Mobile has been trying to amplify coverage in the New Haven, Connecticut region for six years and continues to meet with resistance, notes the New Haven Independent.  The most recent proposal would hide a cell tower and its cooling equipment in the steeple of the Pilgrim Congregational Church.

Opponents of the tower, led by zoning attorney and, coincidentally the church’s next door neighbor, Marjorie Shansky, expressed their resistance to a tower in any form, in their neighborhood. 

The telecom reps and townsfolk went head-to-head at the most recent monthly meeting of the Quinnipiac East Management Team. This informational meeting was a precursor to an official meeting of the City Plan Commission on March 20.

Speaking on behalf of T-Mobile, attorney Jesse Langer and project manager Denise Sabo discussed the current proposal. In an attempt to satisfy “visual responsibility” concerns, the nine antennas and support mechanisms would all be placed out of site within the existing steeple. Previous site locations were all turned down, with the tower’s appearance being an ongoing complaint, the New Haven Independent noted.

The Independent  presented a ‘give and take’ recording of the dialogue between the two sides.  Attorney Shansky expressed her self-interest and fears about declining property values asking, “Will T-Mobile buy my house?” She also wanted to know what the church was getting from T-Mobile. Langer replied, “We don’t believe property values will be detrimentally affected” and added, “I can’t tell you that [what the church is being paid]. I don’t represent the church. I represent T-Mobile.”

Neighbor Christ Ozyck said he has been experiencing health issues [prior to any tower being built] and asked if he was now expected to move. Langer assured him that no antennas were being aimed as his house. Not dissuaded, Ozyck promised to appear at the next meeting, sagely pronouncing, “This is going from 3G to 4G. That’s a 100 percent increase. They say, ‘Safe, safe, safe,’ and then it turns out carcinogenic. That’s what happened with pressure-treated wood.”  

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March 11, 2019      

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