ANTRIM ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MINUTES
Agenda for February 3, 2015 Meeting
INDUSTRIAL TOWER AND WIRELESS, LLC
Members & Staff Present:
John Giffin (Vice-Chair) John Kendall (Chair) Ron Haggett (Member)
Shelley Nelkens (Alternate) Megan Osgood (Land Use Assistant) Ray Ledger wood (Member)
Frank Scales (Member)
Public Attendees: Jeanne Cahoon Charles Nystrom Andrew Robblee Wayne Travers
Steve MacDonald Joyce Davis Tom Davis Mike Genest Kevin Delaney
Rick Voci John Robertson Gordon Webber Wes Enman Kevin Fadden
Steve Grill Frank Bennett
7:00PM Public Meeting:
Chair Kendall opened the meeting at 7PM. He introduced himself and the ZBA Members and staff.
Chair Kendall defined the procedure. Need 5 members for a quorum. Ms. Nelkens can ask questions but may not vote. Three out of 5 votes can approve the application. The Board will try to hear all the information from Public Attendees. The Board attempts to do the best for the community. The ZBA has heard two other cell tower applications. Some info is black and white, some subjective. He explained that the application will be heard by both land use Boards – some aspects that arise may be part of the Planning Board Site Plan Review.
Chair Kendall stated that his goals for the evening were:
- Applicant’s presentation
- Questions from the Board members to the applicant
- No questions from the Public Attendees until the Public Hearing portion of the meeting
- Most likely a continued meeting
- Balloon test to be scheduled
And then, he stated that regardless of any decision made by the ZBA, a 30-day appeal period followed the decision.
The Public Hearing Notice was read by Ms. Osgood. Ms. Osgood noted that certified letters had been sent to all abutters, the Public Hearing Notice had been in The Villager, on the www.antrimnh.org website, posted on the Town Hall inside and outside bulletin boards and on the Post Office Community Bulletin Board. Chair Kendall noted that numerous letters that had been submitted by the public and that they would be heard during the Public Hearing.
Chair Kendall asked the applicant to present his proposal
Kevin Fadden (ITW) introduced the other 2 members of the ITW team, Kevin Delaney and Rick Voci.
Attorney Voci began by mentioning the importance of cell phones in the modern world – needed for communication, enjoyment, and emergency services (E911). He stated that in order to accomplish good coverage, towers were necessary. He said that towers were not invisible and could not be too short. He said that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 eliminated some aspects of local zoning, but that ITW wished to understand the sentiments of the town. He said that ITW is seeking a Special Exception as well as a height variance. He said that it is always a challenge to find the right spot for a cell tower placement.
The next portion of the application presentation was a PowerPoint by Kevin Delaney which aided in defining the requested Special Exception and Variance for height. Some of the aspects of his presentation are as follows:
- Requesting the sting of a monopole in the rural zone
- An 18.5 acre lot
- Map showing location of tower – access by existing driveway
- Leased area was described
- Map showing 150’ circle around tower
- Map showing 300’ area around tower – by-law states fall zone area – all of this is within property lines
- Map showing - Actual compound – monopole in middle – 8’ high fence; 10’ gate
- Shelters vary in size – depends on carrier
- Vertical profile showed tower elevation details
- Standalone monopole – no guy wires
- Could hold up to five carriers – antenna arrays
- No lighting required
- Map depicting propagation studies – which depict coverage area – currently there is no dependable coverage on Rt 9
- Another map showed proposed coverage with the new monopole – “filled in coverage nicely”
- A slide that showed similar facilities with monopoles
- Brief history of the company – emphasized “local” (MA)- which made the company different because all is done internally; they strived to be good neighbors; quick response; pride in the facility care
With the PowerPoint completed, Chair Kendall asked for questions from the Board.
Chair Kendall asked if there were fewer carriers, could the tower be shorter; would that be economically feasible?
Mr. Delaney stated that the tower was designed for five carriers. If the tower were shorter and accommodated only three carriers, then another tower may have to be built to accommodate the other carriers. He said that it usually makes more sense to build a tower that has the capacity in order that other towers do not need to be built.
Mr. Haggett asked if the applicant could discuss other sites that they have built in NH.
Mr. Delaney listed: Epsom, Goffstown, Hancock, Bradford, Whitefield, Farmington, etc. – Many different styles, monopole as well as lattice.
Questions from the ZBA Members – Responses from ITW (applicant):
Explain coverage for the various carriers/must be mindful of the carrier on the bottom as well s the carrier on the top –all need to be at least 20’ above the tree canopy and terrain also matters.
How many towers currently cover the existing area? /Two on bible Hill in Hillsboro and one in Hancock.
Would coverage be redundant? /Coverage needs overlap.
What about generators/Each carrier has its own generator inside its shelter; generators run on propane.
Will there be A/C in summer? /Large carriers use A/C; smaller carriers do not.
Will there be sound studies? /Similar to central area.
How many carriers will there be? / Five carriers and there would be room for a TOA emergency carrier.
What about diminished home values? / Market studies are not as common today as years ago. The towers today are considered commonplace. Appraisers often contradict each other, making it difficult for a Board to determine assessment.
Chair Kendall stated that a date should be set for the Balloon Test.
Mr. Haggett asked the applicant for a time frame.
Mr. Delaney stated that the project construction should be underway early Spring and completion by end of Summer.
Back to the Balloon test.
Mr. Davis requested that the test should be a crane test rather than a balloon test.
ITW gave multiple reasons that a crane would not work in the winter, as well as that a crane is not straight. ITW stated that they had a very good balloon that would satisfy the needs of the test. Photo simulations would come out of the test that would depict the tower’s location. ITW stated that they would be happy to take pictures from various homes of concerned citizens.
Mr. & Mrs. Kaufman expressed their concern that pictures should be taken from the lake.
Chair Kendall expressed his concern that the project had regional impact and that regional towns had been notified.
Mr. Nystrom of Franklin Pierce Lake Association (80 members) stated that his members had been notified of the proposed cell tower.
Chair Kendall acknowledged the difficulty of notifying summer residents.
Mr. Travers asked if the cell tower would benefit Antrim taxpayers.
Atty Voci stated that he was not sure of the future appraised assessment of the property, but that the town would benefit through better cell phone coverage.
Mr. Robertson (Selectman) stated that the parcel would be reassessed as commercial parcel.
The balloon test specifics were questioned.
Mr. Kaufman stated that there were many expensive properties on the lake that paid high property taxes to the Town of Antrim and that those properties should be considered.
Atty Voci agreed that the attendees had valid points but, anytime a test is set, there are objections. He stated that the testing that is done is very standard and will give a realistic assessment.
The discussion of the test continued.
The Board scheduled the following:
February 14: 9 – 4 (rain date: February 15: 9 – 4) Board to meet at Robblees
Alternate: February 21: 9 – 4 (rain date February 22: 9 – 4)
March 17 – Meeting 7PM
Notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held at 7:00 PM Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at the Antrim Town Hall on the request of Industrial Tower and Wireless, LLC (ITW) for a Special Exception per Article XIV-B, Section 4. (District Regulations) a. (Location) and a Variance from Article XIV-B. Section 6. (Dimensional Requirements) 4. (Height of Ground Mounted Facilities) for a proposed Personal Wireless Service Facility (PWSF aka Cell Tower) on property owned by Andrew & Bess Robblee located at 115 Pierce Lake Road (Map 206 Lots 87.1 – 87.4), Antrim, NH 03440 in the Rural District. ITW proposes to construct a one hundred fifty (150’) foot wireless telecommunications monopole tower along with the accompanying equipment area.
Approve Minutes of December 16, 2014
Mr. Scales moved to approve the minutes; Mr. Haggett seconded. The minutes were approved as presented.
Workshops & Trainings:
21th Annual Spring Planning & Zoning Conference – Saturday, May 2 – Registration details soon - FYI
At8:30 PM, Mr. Giffin moved to adjourn the meeting; Mr. Haggett seconded. All approved to adjourn the meeting.
Megan Osgood, On Behalf of the Antrim Zoning Board of Adjustment