Cell Tower Balloon Test: How High Is 124 Feet?

As noted in this morning’s Roundup, 7 a.m. — the time arranged for today’s “balloon test,” showing the actual height of a proposed 124-foot cell tower on private property at 92 Greens Farms Road — came and went, without a balloon.

So did 8 and 9.

Finally — around 10 a.m. — the “balloon vendor” arrived. He (or it) had been delayed.

The balloon is up now. Here are 4 photos, with 2 views.

From Greens Farms Road, looking west. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

Also from Greens Farms Road, looking west. (Photo/Claudia Shaum)

From the I-95 Hillspoint Road overpass, looking east (Andrew Colabella)

Also from the Hillspoint Road bridge, looking east. (Photo/Dick Lowenstein)

Westporters will argue about the wisdom of building the cell tower there, If you choose to use the “Comments” feature below, please use your full, real name — and, in the interest of full disclosure, include whether you are a neighbor or not.

27 responses to “Cell Tower Balloon Test: How High Is 124 Feet?

  1. Priscilla Toumey

    I am not a Greens Farm neighbor but drove past this balloon around Noon. Not only is the height of the proposed tower unacceptable, but imagine the width of the tower base. This tower will be visible in an overwhelming way. It doesn’t fit in Greens Farms or in such a visible location anywhere in Westport. I’m on that stretch of I-95 almost daily and use the Bluetooth system in my car to receive calls. It is not true that we need another cell tower Right There! So inappropriate!

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

      As we old-timer Stapleites used to say (usually at report card time) “Reality Bites!!!”

  2. Wonder why it can’t be build on CT Tpke or railroad property. It will still be visible there, but way less intrusive as both have high structures already. Maybe telecom operators do not have patience to deal with dysfunctional, do-almost-nothing attitude of CT DOT?

  3. Larry Perlstein

    I’m not a neighbor but my opinion is that, sadly, ugly cell towers are unavoidable and if they don’t put it here — it will go someplace else equally unsuitable. As long as they don’t make it look like a giant green toilet bowl cleaner…

    Honestly, if I could improve the coverage at my house in Northern Westport, I’d put one on my property. I’ve been complaining about signal loss at the Weston Rd/Broad St intersection for years!

    • Patrick Henkel

      Completely agree. I welcome the improved coverage. It’s inexcusable to have such spotty coverage in our town.

  4. charles taylor

    Is this the first Crack in the Wall? What’s Next! Why would someone Need a tower on their property except for Profit. Do people not Think of other property owners when they petition to build something like this Eyesore?

  5. Not a local neighbor. Don’t know why it has been deemed necessary to have another tower in that location but the area looks like it could use some new trees. Maybe the cellular company could plant some appropriate trees and then mask the tower as a tree. https://www.qorvo.com/design-hub/blog/art-and-science-of-5g

  6. India van Voorhees

    There are cell towers that look like street lights, and there are cell towers that look like the Eiffel Tower. Do we know what “ours” is proposed to look like?

    (Greens Farms resident, but not on Greens Farms road.)

  7. I don’t live near GF. The one in Westchester on the Hutchinson Parkway has been there for years.

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/272116002455293260/

  8. Elisabeth Keane

    If it is still there, there is a “disguised” cell tower on the Hutch south of the 287 overpass, beyond that rest stop on the left. Years ago it was “disguised” as a fir tree. The frank-fir is enormous and looks like…ah…well…you know.

  9. Eric E. Bosch

    I too am not a Greens Farms neighbor but, who’s kidding who? They fly a 3 foot wide balloon, as if it was some kind of focus-group test case, which they’ll later use to suggest that no one cared, or spoke up. Then, after the tower’s up, having been built the size of the Hindenburg zeppelin, spoiling our skyline for generations, they’ll say more of us should’ve protested.

    My bet is that Putin uses this same logic. “Well, I put my whole army on the Ukrainian borders for months, and no one spoke up…”

    Thank goodness that Mrs. Jo Brosious Fox spoke up back in 1967.

  10. andrea s wolf

    I am a neighbor and a balloon is not an ugly cell tower in a residential neighborhood

  11. Clarence Hayes

    I live nearby within sight of the tower and fully support its construction.
    There is a wireless service gap in this area, that extends from the freeway area down to the beach. I personally have poor reception on Hillspoint just over the overpass towards the beach. I’ll both see the tower and benefit from better service. The providers have sited it here for a reason – because of the gap. No tower, bad service.

  12. Eric E. Bosch

    Clarence, don’t be suprised if your cell service does NOT improve with this tower.
    We lived on Southport beach, and were told that even though the near-by Greens Farms Post Office tower was very close, it’s signals went over our property.

  13. Andrew Colabella

    It’s not often for residents across the town, in different districts and beyond to agree on something.

    There is a large outpouring of emails, comments and calls against this proposed tower, just like in 2013. Nothing has changed.

    This will only benefit the property owners, fiscally.

    The public has spoken out before, and now again in unison.

    No. No. No.

  14. Richard Johnson

    This is a pretty good location in Westport for a cell tower, all things considered. The property only has one immediate neighbor, where most houses have three. It’s directly adjacent to I-95, on a very busy stretch of a very busy road with office buildings and highway overpasses, so it can hardly be said to infringe on a quiet neighborhood or sylvan woodland. It is not like it’s sitting in the middle of Turkey Hill. Yes, it can be seen from the overpass… as can the soot, grime, and rushing traffic of I-95. With respect to the “skyline” – what skyline? No one is looking at the skyline of the intersection of Greens Farms and Hillspoint. This just isn’t a pristine, beautiful location as so much of Westport is – and so it makes sense, if you need to put a tower somewhere, to put it here.

    It’s too bad that it will affect a small number of neighbors in the immediate vicinity, and they should ideally receive some form of compensation. But increased cell service is important. Remember when the power was out for over a week in 2020? You couldn’t even make phone calls in large swaths of Westport.

    The last I heard, the office complex at 55 Greens Farms – right down the road – was being considered as an alternative location. I think that would be much more appropriate. I am not a neighbor, btw.

  15. Todd groovy tracy

    Yea, the service gap is terrible, i would have thought everyone would be jumping for joy. We could petition Elon Musk for old mill satelite service, other than that it is the perfect spot. My first house in Wetpo was on GF R .. few houses away. Service gap is safety issue. Only place in wetpo cant make a call. God forbid some one has emergenci

  16. Not a neighbor but I do drive on the freeway next door, so does that count?

    While the tower will be taller than the trees the way humans look is ahead not up. If I’m driving and looking at the tower I should be arrested, if I’m walking and looking up I’ll bump into things. Of all the places to help out hundreds of people this seems the least worst option.

    If someone falls and can’t call for help because this tower wasn’t built will these folks be there to help?

  17. Not sure what the mechanics consist of on the tower. But can it be placed on one of the RR towers that span the river? The height seems about right. I live in the area.

  18. Donald Bergmann

    Pretty much everyone considers a 124 foot tall cell tower on a residential site ugly, both to the nearby neighbors and to all us who drive, walk or cycle to or from Sherwood Mill Pond from Greens Farms Rd. or Hillspoint. For those who still want this Tower, I hope they consider the following: The primary reason for the Tower is to service cars driving along a limited portion of I-95. For all homeowners, good cell service is available if you use Cablevision, i.e. the Wi Fi and possibly a free booster from Cablevision; and many people get improved cell service simply by switching carriers; For power outages, I believe regular, old fashioned telephone connections rarely go down in a power outage. For those who lose cell service for a short length while driving along Hillspoint Rd, possibly they should simply take a different perspective. For those who walk along Soundview or Hillspoint Rd. and can’t connect to talk on the telephone, my judgment is that modest inconvenience does not justify a 124 foot tall Cell Tower at this location.
    Don Bergmann.

  19. Adam Schwartz '75

    I do not live in Westport. I just wanted to make one comment. I haven’t researched any of this project but, a cell tower at 124ft is not going to serve the immediate area close by the this antenna. My guess is, this antenna is serving I-95. Cell antennas are very directional. If any of you neighbors are that concerned, I would make it a priority to contact the Project Manager and find out if they plan on installing any antennas to serve the local area. If you see a high cell tower, you’ll almost always see a cluster on top, then a couple pointed slightly down. Those are for local coverage. You might want to make sure this project is actually thinking about the good residents of Westport.

    • Jaime Bairaktaris

      The Company spoke briefly about which carriers would be using space on this tower at a meeting last month, which also included reserved space for our Town’s emergency communications (PD/Fire/EMS). Your question of local service (in the immediate area surrounding the tower) is a great one that I hope we have have answered. I wouldn’t have thought of this.

  20. How does this compare with the height of, say, the steeples of the historic churches in town — Greens Farms and Saugatuck Congregational Churches, for starters? Christ and Holy Trinity?

    • Your point being what, Scott.
      Are you saying the cell tower is no more unsightly than a church steeple? If so, re think it all.

  21. Sure, this thing’ll look awful, but there are other considerations, too.

    https://uhs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/cellphonescelltowerswirelesssafety.pdf

  22. Stephen Goldstein

    As a neighbor within sight of the tower I am strongly in opposition to the inappropriate placement of this monstrosity in a residential backyard. It’s a bit infuriating that a 9 foot tall fence is not allowed in Westport, but a 124 foot tower can be constructed in our midst.

    As for the “need” for the tower, it seems to be a topic of debate with many people in this chain saying coverage is adequate and others citing a gap in coverage in the Hillspoint area/by the beach, etc. And a few have pointed out that coverage in the immediate area may not even improve, as the signals are beamed down the I-95 corridor, which in my opinion is the true intention of the tower company. As someone who lives locally, the coverage has gotten much much better in this area over the past few years so I’m in the “there’s no need” camp. I have never heard a complaint from any emergency service that there is inadequate coverage, so I don’t think that’s a justification for this tower. We will look for confirmation of this from the appropriate police and fire officials as part of our opposition to the tower to take that argument off the table.

    This is also a terrible precedent as a land use matter – people don’t move to nice towns like Westport to have a 124 foot blight constructed and towering over them based upon the financial motive of one self-interested neighbor in their midst. I hope the town does everything in its power (i.e. starting with a massively increased property assessment to reflect the present value of the lease) to remove the financial incentive from the homeowners at 92 Greens Farms Road who are the only beneficiaries to the detriment of all who live nearby. My guess is that if property taxes and/or other fees consumed all of their “profit” they would quickly tell the tower company to head elsewhere. We will be looking into this with our town representatives who stand with us against this intrusion.

    I hope many Westporters and our town officials unite with us in the weeks and months to come to defeat this unnecessary project.

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