Rockledge Cell Tower Review Continues

Nelsonville deadline extended to April 30

By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong

After a few further remarks by residents, the Nelsonville Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board on April 4 closed their extensive public hearing on a cell tower proposed for Rockledge Road but said they would continue to accept written remarks until Monday, April 16.

The tower, a joint venture of Homeland Towers LLC and Verizon, would occupy a 9.7-acre parcel on a wooded, hillside tract near Moffat Road and above Cold Spring Cemetery. It requires a special-use permit from the ZBA, as well as site-plan approval from the Planning Board. Depending on the tower’s height, which, as proposed, might be 110, 120  to 125 feet, it may also need a zoning variance.

The proposed cell tower would go a tract of land roughly in the area off to the left, on Rockledge Road. (File photo by L.S. Armstrong)

The tower has been under review in Nelsonville since last summer. The April 4 hearing in the Haldane school auditorium drew far fewer people — about 40 — than previous sessions.

Robert Gaudioso, the lawyer for Homeland Towers, agreed to extend the deadline, or “shot clock” required under federal law, until the board’s next meeting on April 30. Board members said they wanted more time to review documents submitted by tower proponents and opponents and to clarify the position of the state Parks Department on the aesthetic impact of the project.

Although the agency said in October that the tower would have no adverse visual effect, a letter dated March 14 cautioned it may revise its finding and add conditions, such as limiting the tower to 110 feet and/or camouflaging it.

The tower’s look remains undetermined. A flagpole design, twin flagpoles, a monopole that resembles a pine tree, and an obelisk version all have been suggested.

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