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Zoning Board of Adjustment Minutes 03/06/2012
March 6, 2012 Meeting
Special Exception Cell Tower # 2012-01ZBA

Members & Staff Present:     
Diane Chauncey (Staff)      Ron Haggett (Member)            John Kendall (Chair)                
Ray Ledgerwood (Alternate)      Shelly Nelkens (Alternate)     Frank Scales (Member)
John Giffin (Member)        Doug Crafts (Member)

Members Absent:  Frank Scales   Ray Ledger wood ( Alternate)
Public Attendees:        Sheila Proctor         Carter Proctor          Drew Lemay              
Sarah Vanderwende       Shannon McManus David Dubois            Kristen Vance
Fred Ward               RF Engineer             Atty Edward Pare        Peter Moore
John Cucchi                     

7:15 Public Hearing:  Case # 2012 -01ZBA

A  request by New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC, by and through its Manager, AT&T Mobility Corporation, c/o Edward D. Pare, Jr. Esq., Brown Rudnick for a Special Exception per Article XIV D. 4. for a proposed Personal Wireless Service Facility (PWSF aka Cell Tower) on property owned by Ernest & Rose Litchfield located at 56 Smith Road (Tax Map 233, Lot 60), Antrim, NH 03440 in the Rural District. New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC requests that the Board grant a special exception for the installation, operation and maintenance of the facility.

Full Board – Ms. Nelkens to sit for the absent Mr. Scales.

Chair Kendall introduced himself and the Board members. Chair Kendall explained the Public Hearing process to the applicant and the Public Attendees.

The Secretary read the Notice as published in the local newspapers and stated that all abutters had been properly notified, all but two receipts had been returned, and there had been one comments by an abutter who has written a letter which the Board members have.  Another abutter asked to see the application on more than one occasion but had no comment at the counter.
Chair Kendall asked if the Board members had questions concerning the application. There were none at the time.

Chair Kendall asked Attorney Pare to present the proposal and request for a Special Exception.

Attorney Pare explained that numerous locations had been evaluated for the most appropriate AT&T site. He said that the 56 Smith Road location was the best fit. The application for the proposed PWSF was now before the Planning Board (for Site Plan Review) and the Zoning Board of Adjustment for a Special Exception.

Atty Pare then displayed numerous plans on the easel (available for viewing at Town Hall). Some of the items explained were:

Sheet C-1
        Existing driveway
        Tower site 588’ from Smith Road
        North boundary (Antrim Lumber)
        Dark circle – 2 times the tower height
        Closest rear property line – 669 ‘
        Darker circle is two times the tower height

Sheet C-6
        Smith Road – larger depiction – gravel access drive
        Access road – 12’ wide
        Utilities – standard electric and telephone service
        One utility pole and then underground
        Access road will continue into a fenced area
        Leased 100 x 100 area
Sheet C-4
        50 x 50 fenced compound
        Pole in middle
        Antennas installed with co-axial cables – Ice Bridge – to equipment shelter
        Shelter – 10 x 20
        3 carrier pole for co-location (as required by Antrim Zoning Ordinance)
        Standard design
        Depiction of monopole – AT&T at top
        Remote radio heads
        Two sites for future antennas – leased space – to be used in accordance with zo
        Pole designed for all 3 carriers within pole for co-axial cables

Sheet C-5
There was a question concerning the grade of the driveway (road) – Chair Kendall stated that the Planning Board will review the driveway during the Site Plan Review
        Road is not an access road – only to be used once or twice a month
        Not looking to install road or bring in tons of fill
        Access road will be off of existing driveway – 12’ wide – not critical that the road be straight
Sheet C-2 & C - 3
        Tree Survey – extensive survey with every tree on it – 1174 trees less than 100 will be removed
        Average tree canopy is 75’  
        Tower will be within 10’ of tree canopy
        The 3rd locator will be in trees – AT&T would like a greater height

Atty Pare introduced the radio Frequency engineer, Steve Detack who explained the cell tower coverage, gaps in coverage, and frequency. He used color graphs to explain how the proposed site will give AT&T the seamless coverage that the company needs for its customers. He stated that there must be clearance above the tree line and that 85’ would be adequate.

Atty Pare stated that 85’ height of the proposed tower complied with the Antrim Zoning Ordinance. A short discussion about the height of the tower ensued.

Chair Kendall stated according to the application, the antenna array will require a waiver but that would. be for the Planning Board.

Atty Pare stated that he would like both ZBA and PB hearings open. He asked if the ZBA were interested in a balloon test.

Mr. Haggett thought that the balloon test and the site walk should be Planning Board issues, not the ZBA.

Chair Kendall asked if  town owned parcels had been evaluated.

JK – top of the tower is wider  - the antenna ray – not an issue for the ZBA – for PB decision- ZO allows 4’ width – but not a significance for the ZBA -
If PB does not

Atty Pare – procedural discussion – goal is to get both hearings open – so can go back and forth – what is the pleasure of the Board –
Balloon test – does the ZBA wish a test – and a site plan review
Will the ZBA want a
RH wishes that all such discussion go to PB
JK –
Water tower on Pleasant St – 100’ – will not give the coverage
Landfill on Goodell Road
Fire Station – would cover some of 31 but would lose it on 31

Can cove back and revisit
All materials and

Drew Lemay – summary – main question – does the presence of a tower devalue the surrounding
        Starting on p.7 – 13 properties and photos of homes and towers to get a sense of exposure – some minimal and some quite prominent – p. 16 and 39 – two paired worksheets – how does the visibility impact their buying decisions – did it affect the asking price -  in cases that he found the answers are no

Adjustments made for physical differences
p. 40 – 45 – three homes that sales were pending – despite the presence of a cell tower – no demonstrated loss in value or extended selling time

asked questions concern

p. 56 – citations of different appraisal reports – 6 states – 56 properties – could find no value loss

Based on research – vas majority of buyers are not cell tower sensitive – 2 types of buyers – one who will buy id can see cell tower and 2 – will not buy if can see cell tower

Research – when come down to bottom line if ct in view shed – does not impact value to a measurable degree.

SN – cannot make a decision – impact of selling price – Gould Hill – sale for $315,00

Some of the prop that dl discussed were bought while the cell tower application was being heard – in the same type of process as TOA is in now  - listed, marketed and sold within the cell tower hearing process

RH – heard a recent statistic – 30 – 40%  of ct users  do not have land  lines – would a buyer be put off by the lack of a cell tower

DL – could possibly be a paradign change in the way people

Atty discussed lte speed – high speed data – consumers are driving demand – all of the big facilities will want wireless as a connection to the rest of the world

JK – impressive report – personal question – assessor for town of Hopkinton – had already done study when become –
did it make a difference on the assessed value –

dl – if no evidence of market loss – then  - gsve examples

jk – Atty pare – not enough rural properties (Kristen’s concern)

Drew Lemay had a ME report that showed rural properties

Any questions for Mr. Lemay

SN – will not need land lines ?? what about a power outage

Atty Pare – will be a backup generator at the

Atty Pare – width of antenna array – PB will look at visibility – the PB can allow for a greater diameter based on certain criteria
Evidentiary over

Balloon test
Why site makes sense
Large lot
Heavily treed – only top ten feet will rise above trees
Can run thru the standards
JK – if decide to do balloon test – 2 issues – site and noise

JK - Should balloon test and  noise be done at the same time

Generator – 30 minutes a week – should not be heard by anyone
        Ambient noise
DC-  is there a local site that abutters could visit and listen

Atty Pare – Noise study by Kenneth Kozyra

Secretary read the five criteria. Chair Kendall

JK – requested TCA of 1996

Atty Pare stated that he could certainly email

Public Hearing:
Chair Kendall explained the process.

Abutters who would like to speak in favor:

Abutters  in opposition to the request.
Kristen Vance – 36 Smith Road – letter  - list some of her issues

        Not compatible with rural character
        Deficiencies in application
                Properties in values – applicant failed to establish
                Not a study of  rural district
                Evidence in suburban – not a rural character
                Stated properties which were not like the rural
        Noise – enjoyed the sounds of nature – noise from ac and generator – wants equipment in underground facility

        Consequences of blasting – will her property be affected – well

        Balloon test with no leaves on trees

        Alternative sites – was raw land not considered.- why was no raw land considered
                Was Smith Road listed one FAA restricted area

        Alternatives to suggest – is this the only
        Thouough investigation – co location on power lines

SN – Has she listened to cell towers in Peterborough

Peter Moore & Teri Moore
Not speaking for or against – ambivalent
To PB and ZBA – abutters to Litchfields – have used the
        Pleased for the Litchfields
        A few reasonable conditions to mitigate the impact – should be added to the notice of decision. if approved - conditions
  • Hvac units should incorporate silencers
  • Backup  generators – request upgrade to level 1 71 dba
  • Require gerator exercise event to happen on weekday
  • Provide owner and repair= to repair landscape
  • Provide that new owners be required to comply with major site plan revoe
  • 85’ – final height
  • ???

Inconsistency in dl report

Jk thanked for the information – even though some may apply to the ZBA criteria – the Site Plan Review of the PB will  Noise is an important factom

Atty Pare not suggesting tht there is no noise

        That report was used because the report was familiar

Tower to closest property line – Vance – 1100 feet

Will create report and provide   Antrim information

JK – sound attenuating

Atty Pare – hvac units will not be a factor
Can not

Carter Proctor – concerned about noise but does not want to hear a HVAC unit

Mr. Moore – will there be 2 additional hvac units – if ther is co-location

Atty Pare – any company who co-locates will need to go before the PB for site plan review

CP – if on all the time – aim west and no one would hear it – he had a business and was able to accommodate his neighbors – he had come up with a mitigating

Jk – assured cp that AT&T was very accommodating and that AT&T

Atty Pare – wants to be a good neighbor and not alienate potential customers

JK – Antrim Lumber ??

Shannon – AL would not be a bad site but very open and Litchfield more treed – trying to get the best elevation

JK – if asked for RF report would there be a great difference

Atty Pare – would the ZBA like to see a plot of Antrim Lumber?

Shannon – a more exposed  tower Litchfield – vegetative buffer – AL does not have the

JK – wants to be fair to all abutters
Sound test

Would like to pull the reports of the last AT&T – JK wants the old info submitted as

Atty Pare will get whatever information  the Board would like

JK – could barely hear

John Giffin stated that the 22 High site is not similar to the 56 Smith Road site

DC – looking at KV report –

Atty – when the letter was received the rf specialist had looked at the sites – no actual plot maps –
RF – closer to rt 9 and the coverage on 202

Meetinghouse Hill  - on 1 mile ne of proposed – stance and topography

Bald  - coverage ot Gregg lace – but not downtown Antrim or rt 202

JK – TCA act ??

Pare – sig gaps and adequate coverage- wants to provide good service – not law suits
Zo – if there was an ex struct  would love to use it
Got to go somewhere -  
Feels that theproposed site – following what the ord has requested – followed th zo – put the case forward and meet the 5 criteria – every raw site would have some d
Did not say it was invisible – but feels that the zo has been
Have PB
Jk – no sound ordinance in theTOA
        Special Exception  criteria be met and even if passes – still needs to go PB for Site Plan Review
        Read the Article XIV-B d. – still has to
Peter Moore – mitigation to control noise

Attu Pare – will come back to the Boar

Meterologist – inversion or nice clear day – sound test – with clear skies and  Fred Ward

JK -

John Kuchi – Nelson – looking for the best coverage for town and wondered how the 56 smith road tower would fit

JK – schedule  balloon test
        Should not schedule

DD – meet and accept

Discussion of coordinating site walks and balloon test
RH – all the information that the ZBA needs
SN  – home values are so subjective
SN – reasonable to try to make some correlations
DC – sn has good point
JK – understand sn point but went thru multiple appraisers last time that it just got thrown out last time – nothing concrete – scales balanced
AT&T – independent appraiser could show another 60-page report and then take the 2 reports and compare and what is right and what is wrong – split group of people and how they are affected by the tower

Drew Lemay – balloon test with appraisals – incorporate the simulated

JK – wants site walk

Atty Pare will get the Boards the information that is needed – noise visibility, site visit -

Dates determined:
        March 22 – PB postponed 1st Public Hearing
        March 31 – Balloon test
        April 1 – Balloon test (if weather problems had occurred)
        April 3 – ZBA continued Public Hearing
        April 5 – PB continued Public hearing  

Rh move to continue to April 3, 2012 dc second all approve


Special Exception Criteria

  • The proposed use may be similar to one or more of the uses already authorized in that district and is in an appropriate location for such a use.
  • Such approval would not adversely affect the neighborhood, nor otherwise be injurious, obnoxious or offensive.
  • The use will not create excessive traffic congestion, noise, or odors in the neighborhood where it is proposed.

  • Such approval would be consistent with the intent of the Zoning Ordinance.
  • Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use.

Mr. moved to approve the application. Mr. seconded.

Mr. Haggett moved to approve the application of New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC, by and through its Manager, AT&T Mobility Corporation, c/o Edward D. Pare, Jr. Esq., Brown Rudnick for a Special Exception per Article XIV D. 4. for a proposed Personal Wireless Service Facility (PWSF aka Cell Tower) on property owned by Ernest & Rose Litchfield located at 56 Smith Road (Tax Map 233, Lot 60), Antrim, NH 03440 in the Rural District. New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC requests that the Board grant a special exception for the installation, operation and maintenance of the facility.

The following conditions apply to this approval:
Zoning Board of Adjustment requirements, commitments and agreements made by the applicant and/or his agent as recorded in the meeting minutes dated February 28, 2012 and subsequent meetings as they pertain to this application are a conditional part of this approval.
The applicant shall obtain a building permit for any construction or alteration and adhere to all building, health and fire codes.
The applicant shall obtain any necessary state and/or federal permits required for this proposal.

Roll Call Vote:


The proposal was granted. A Notice of Decision will be written within 5 days and recorded at the Registry of Deeds.

Business Meeting:  

  • Approve Minutes of February 28, 2012  - Mr. moved to approve the minutes as presented. Mr. seconded. The minutes were approved.
  • New application form for ZBA
  • The Members discussed the reorganization after Town Meeting. Alternates
At  PM, Mr. moved to adjourn. Mr. seconded. All approved. The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted, Diane Chauncey, On Behalf of the Antrim Zoning Board of Adjustment

Town of Antrim, NH P.O. Box 517, 66 Main Street Antrim, NH 03440
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