How many signatures do you need to force a referendum to oppose a tower? Apparently close to 200 in Putnam Valley, NY. Residents are banding together to oppose a 150-foot cell tower planned by Homeland Towers for construction near the town hall.
The Examinerreports that resident Dorothy France has begun circulating a petition and if she collects 178 resident signatures, a ballot will be held on the issue. France believes the proposed site is too close to the elementary school, the tower construction is based on the private agenda of local politicians, and that community voices have been largely excluded from the decision. A vote would mean that all residents get a say about what is going on in their community, France notes.
Conversely, the majority of the town board believes the construction of the tower is necessary, as the surrounding homes have little to no cell service, reports The Examiner. Supervisor Sam Oliverio describes the cell towers as “essential federally protected security utilities” and doesn’t see the community functioning fully without them. He claims the tower construction serves the greater good and public safety expectations.
Although the town board already voted in favor of leasing the town hall land to Homeland Towers, the company still needs approvals from the zoning board of appeals and planning board in order to begin construction.
In the meantime, if France’s petition is successful, a ballot vote will cost the town $5,500, Oliverio said.
June 22, 2018