Check Out The Balloons: The Sequel

North Atlantic Towers floated 2 balloons this morning. They’re part of preparations for building a cell tower in the back yard of a Greens Farms Road home.

Here’s the view from the I-95 overpass on Hillspoint Road. The view looks north.

Cell protest

A couple dozen anti-tower protesters turned up. So — in an observational capacity — did First Selectman Jim Marpe, town attorney Ira Bloom, and state representatives Jonathan Steinberg, Gail Lavielle and Tony Hwang.

(Photos by Mary Ann West)

(Photos by Mary Ann West)

State regulations appear to allow the erection of a cell tower on private property.

But Westport seldom lets an issue like this happen quietly.


11 responses to “Check Out The Balloons: The Sequel

  1. Helen Garten

    I also saw Westport Conservation Director Alicia Mozian, State Representative Kim Fawcett and several RTM members.

    Helen Garten,
    Selectwoman (and long time resident who remembers the Sunny Lane cell tower fight and remains concerned about towers in residential neighborhoods).

  2. Megan Acquino Slingo

    Check out the fight Monroe has been in for the same issue..i think there is a facebook page still… unfortunately company’s like AT&T really don’t care, CAN an WILL put the tower wherever they want and as mentioned below…there isn’t alot you ca do to stop except raise hell over it…FIGHT IT WESTPORT…one year later and there is still NO TOWER in Monroe where they originally wanted to put it…also as a side note…whomever owns the property will probably be able to retire on what they will be paying to lease the property each month

  3. Megan Acquino Slingo

    Spoke too soon, Reps for AT&T just field an application with the Connecticut Siting Council for the Frankenpine they plan to erect in a residential area of Monroe…if the CSC approves…it’s pretty much a done deal. Westport Beware

  4. Scott Smith

    I’ve lived near the proposed site for the past 10 years and would benefit from improved cell-phone coverage. In this day and age, it sucks living in a dead zone. I’m also a frequent user of Compo and Longshore, which also have unreliable cell phone service, and wonder if this proposed cell tower would cover those areas. Judging from the balloons I saw today, I would hope so. Though it’s unclear whether any of us have a say in the issue, for comparison’s sake, I’d like to see more information about the alternate sites mentioned by the town. I’d also like to know if we have any levers to advise on the design if built – personally, I like the “Sequoia” cell tower on the Hutch in White Plains. Call it a frankenpine, but to my eye it’s actually a cool landmark. This proposed location is residential, but it’s also hard by one of the busiest interstates in the nation and the Northeast’s main rail corridor. There are also tall power lines and the emergency siren at the corner. Hardly a pristine landscape. One thing’s for sure: If built, the tower will be a coveted nesting site for the baddest osprey family in the neighborhood, just as the one Helen mentions has become.

  5. Dan Lasley (Laz)

    It’s a mascara brush!

  6. Cathy Smith Barnett SHS '66

    …And in Ridgefield according to a friend who lives near the New York border.

  7. davidwebster421

    Scott makes a great point that is being overlooked in this discussion. Of course “nimby” principles dictate that there will never be agreement over where infrastructure like this gets placed, but the reality is that in today’s world having weak/non-existent coverage is a real problem. As more and more people drop their land lines and come to rely on mobile service for voice, data, and even emergency services, having big chunks of a community like offline isn’t a solution either. My folks live in New Canaan, which has doggedly fought the installation of any towers at all within their borders for years. And as a result, it’s one of the deadest parts of CT when it comes to coverage. Despite living only 1 mile from the Merritt, they can barely make a phone call at their house, and often miss texts. In 2014 that’s ridiculous. The town’s digital-isolationism is hurting it.

    It would be great if smaller towers could get the job done, and someday they will. But until then, I think we need to make compromises as a community. As has been pointed out, this isn’t a spot with a pristine vista today either. It’s a busy intersection overlooking a highway with multiple pieces of emergency, power and communications infrastructure already present.

    100 years ago surely there were identical fights about putting power and telephone lines into communities like ours. And just like today I’m sure nobody wanted their views disturbed by those structures. But at some point utilities become a necessity and something has to give. I think wireless is at that tipping point today.

  8. Has anyone talked to CT DOT and Metro North about using the electrical towers on the Saugatuck Bridge?

  9. Berke Rhoda

    The tower can be disguised to make it look like a tall pine/’evergreen tree like the one on the Merrit or Hutch if I recall correctly. Have been out of Ct. for 10 years but I do remember how good it looked never knowing it was a cell tower. Is that being discussed?

  10. My parents live in Old Lyme now and there is a private working farm silo that has cell responders on top. Its a win win- the farm gets sizable “rental” income and the aesthetic integrity is maintained.