Easy ‘Cell’ for the BSA
Dec 23, 2008 | 1243 views | 1 1 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Board of Standards and Appeals gave the okay for the construction of a cell phone tower on top of this Maspeth residence.
The Board of Standards and Appeals gave the okay for the construction of a cell phone tower on top of this Maspeth residence.
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The city’s Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) approved the application for the erection of a cell tower pole on the roof of a building at on 72nd Place in Maspeth last week, even after the community board, elected officials, and neighbors objected.

There were serious objections by residents based on a lack of necessity for added T-Mobile cell coverage, radio wave health concerns, and the fact that it would be an eyesore.

The 13-foot long, 32-inch diameter pole will be mounted on a residential building at 53-20 72nd Place. It will be nearly 43 feet at its highest point, and, according to applicant Omnipoint Communications, is necessary because there have been complaints in the area of loss of cell phone coverage.

The service gap was contested by some neighbors at a hearing at the BSA hearing on November 18, however the field test was refuted by Omnipoint.

In their decision dated December 16, the board referred to the need for wireless communications as a public utility (which might be similar to a gas, land phone or electric line.

“It (the decision by BSA) sets a very unfortunate precedent that, in the future, cell phone antennas can be located in the middle of a residential neighborhood,” said Gary Giordano, district manager of Community Board 5.

That argument was reiterated by Diane DeSiliva, a resident of 72nd Place who lives directly across the street from where the cell tower will be built.

“The decision is outrageous,” she said. “It sets a very dangerous precedent and could allow cell companies to invade residential areas everywhere with structures that do not belong where people live.”

Assemblywoman Marge Markey, who represents the area, said that the community would continue to oppose T-Mobile and other companies that seek to put cell towers in residential neighborhoods.

“I want to warn T-Mobile and any other cellular company that seeks to use this case as a precedent: get ready for a fight,” she said in a statement issued after the BSA ruling. “We will continue to strongly oppose any other plan that seeks to place a cell tower on any residential block in my district.”

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Laraine Donohue
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December 28, 2008
I am angered by the final outcome that the BSA handed down to the people of Maspeth. It's a deliberate act of disrespect to the residents of 72nd Place and at the same time opens the door to other cellular companies who will try to securte other sites for these ugly monstrosities throughout our neighborhoods.

Several months ago, Assemblywoman Marge Markey, (other elected officials who did not attend but sent their reps.) and a large group of Maspeth people, attended a hearing regarding this project. One by one, each person gave reasons why this cell phone tower should not be erected in this quiet residential area. The people presented valid and knowledgeable objections but their opinions had little or nothing to do the the boards final decision.

I and another member of COMET CIVIC, who live in Elmhurst, attended that meetng and were proud to align ourselves with our Maspeth neighbors. We must all stand together and fight for our communities. We live here, pay taxes here and know more about our neighborhoods than the BSA. Still, they ignore the resident's pleas of not granting the construction of this tower; and opted in favor of Omnipoint. What a disgrace....the BSA should hang their heads in shame!!!

A special "thanks" to Marge Markey for her super support. Maspeth is very lucky to have her representing them.

L. Donohue

Member of:

COMET CIVIC

NCA

110th Police Cmty. Cncl.

CB #4