82-foot telecom tower approved in residential district

Telecommunications tower will be disguised as a flagpole. Omnipoint Communications sought approval for an 82-foot telecommunications tower in connection with a proposed wireless communications facility to be built on a 2,597- square-foot site in the United Hebrew Cemetery on Arthur Kill Road between Clarke and Newvale Avenues. The facility will eliminate a gap in wireless services in the South Richmond area of Staten Island. The tower’s design calls for internal antennas so that it can double as a flagpole. The flagpole will be supported by a 200-square-foot concrete base surrounded by newly planted screening trees.

Omnipoint required a special permit to allow the 82-foot flagpole in the Special South Richmond Development District, which has a 50-foot height limit. Omnipoint also submitted a separate application for authorization to grade and excavate the site for construction of the base.

At the November 2, 2005 public hearing, no one spoke in opposition. Omnipoint’s representative addressed Borough President James P. Molinaro’s concerns that the tower would have adverse effects on health and property values in the area, saying that the tower’s frequency emissions are less than 1.2 percent of the allowable federal limits. The Commission approved on December 7, 2005. Commissioner Alfred C. Cerullo noted that the tower would increase communicability in the area and improve public safety, but hoped that the Commission would look at the issue of radio towers more globally in the future in order to receive more than one service from each tower. Commissioner John Merolo agreed, adding that the number of towers on Staten Island should be limited.

ULURP Process: BSA, which had already granted a special permit to allow a non-accessory radio tower in a residential district acted as lead agency. It issued a negative declaration on June 15, 2004. Community Board 3 unanimously approved on September 27, 2005 and Borough President James P. Molinaro issued an unfavorable recommendation on October 31, 2005. The Council did not request review of the application, so the tower was deemed approved after the Commission’s approval.

CPC: Omnipoint Communications Tower (C 050494 ZSR) (December 7, 2005). CITYADMIN

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