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ZBA to tackle cell tower variance

COURTESY PHOTO
Rendering of what Elite Towers said its proposed tower at the Manhanset firehouse could look like.

Wednesday night the Zoning Board of Appeals will  take up an issue related to the proposed cell tower at the Manhanset Firehouse on Cobbetts Lane. While the Town Board hasn’t  acted on the special permit needed for the tower, to keep the project moving forward, the decision was made to have the ZBA hearing run concurrently.

At issue for the ZBA is whether to waive code regulations allowing for 8-foot sound “dampening walls” to enclose equipment.

Front wall heights are limited to 4 feet while side and rear walls are limited to 6 feet.

The site described in the application would include a 50-foot by 50-foot fenced enclosure for a 120-foot  pole; overhead “cable bridge;” and a generator on a  concrete slab with the 8-foot wall. An underground propane tank, capable of holding 500 gallons, is also proposed on the property that already has a nonconforming use as a firehouse in a residential area.

The higher walls under consideration are in line with what experts working for Elite Towers, the Deer Park-based builder, and Verizon have proposed to contain noise from a generator at the site. With no outages, the generator would self-test once a week for about a half hour. But in the case of a major outage, a generator would provide power.

Still unresolved at the Town Board level is containing aggregate noise from additional generators that could be placed on the site by other potential cell carriers who might opt to put antennas on the tower.

The hearing on the application is one of two slated for Wednesday night’s hearing. The meeting at Town Hall starts at 7:30 p.m.

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