Fairmount- Stonewyck ACTION (Against cell towers in our neighborhood)
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To the Mayor and zoning board:
We recently learned that the wireless provider AT&T has filed an application with the Chatham Township zoning board of adjustments to place twelve (12) antennas at 156.5' on the new PSE&G transmission tower and to place related equipment at the base of the tower near Fairmount- Stonewyck intersection. The proposed site is adjacent to another PSE&G pole in our residential neighborhood which is already equipped with T-Mobile's antennas. Approval of this cellular tower will set a precedent for installing such cellular antennas from different wireless providers on all PROW (Public right of Way) poles in any of our residential neighborhoods.
AT&T is requesting various height variances including tower, panel and antenna heights. The most injurious variance is for minimum distance to the residential property line. The proposed site is just within 100 feet from community school bus stop which is frequently used by entire neighborhood and less than 200 feet from approximately 18 residences.
How will these cellular towers and base stations affect our quality of life?
DEVALUATION OF HOMES A number of organizations and studies have documented the detrimental effects of cell towers on property values. According to local area real estate services, cell tower and base stations lower property values by 20%, due to the aesthetic nature, and the public's "perception" of health hazards. People don't want to live next to one not just because of health concerns, but also due to aesthetics and public safety reasons. They can attract crime and are possible fire and electrocution hazards. They also attract vandalism, vagrancy, suicide attempts, and are a leading cause of occupational falls. Routine maintenance has lead to fires, and high winds have toppled poles. A cellular tower in a residential zone would cause financial impact, for residential owners, it means decreased property values/ financial hardships. For local businesses (realtors and brokers) representing and listing these properties, it will create decreased income. And for city governments, it results in decreased revenue (property taxes).
VISUAL NUISANCE and PRIVACY CONCERNS The proposed cell tower and cell tower base station are adjacent to residential properties and higher than surrounding structures. Anyone working on the tower and base station would have an unobstructed view of adjacent residences.
NOISE POLLUTION Noise levels of cellular tower hum and onsite maintenance have been cited repeatedly as reasons to keep cell towers out of residential neighborhoods. They are commercial units and should be kept out of residential areas.
HEALTH and SAFETY ISSUES The International Association of Fire Fighters has declared a moratorium on new cell tower construction at fire department facilities until credible science is developed. http://www.iaff.org/hs/Facts/CellTowerFinal.asp
Watch the dangerous RF radiations from cell tower here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvSTN5rMORM
As covered recently at http://eliehouse.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/how-safe-are-the-workers-who-work-in-close-proximity-to-cell-phone-antennae/ and in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/business/14digi.html there are a number of conclusive scientific studies stating that No electromagnetic studies have been done to measure the effect of cell phone radiation on children. These are also summarized at http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/05/0/28/what_are_the_dangers_of_living_near_cell_phone_towers.htm Time Magazine has a story published in October 2010 detailing flaws in FCC handset testing: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2027523,00.html Wired Magazine http://www.wired.com/gadgets/wireless/news/2005/08/68600 has a story on St. Louis denying a permit based on concerns about the health of children and devaluation of homes. While the wireless industry will contend there are no adverse health effects related to wireless towers and antennae, even a perceived health risk is enough to negatively affect the quality of life of residents near a cell tower. Whether perceived or real health risks, a cell tower installation adversely impacts neighboring properties. It will create anxiety, stress, worry, sadness, a need for moving out of the area, among other things. This is a deterioration of the quality of life for our neighborhoods.
An action plan: What we are expecting from our representative officials:
1. The provider should propose alternative feasible and available locations that are least intrusive in our communities.
2. The provider should show there is a significant gap in coverage which requires a cell tower.
3. There should be a minimum distance determined between cell towers in any residential zone. Multiple providers can install antennas at same location, if they desire to expand.
Local authorities have rights that do not conflict with Federal and State regulations concerning wireless facility installations on poles in PROW, including authority to protect the public interests of its residents.
Our environment has changed immensely over the past ten years and wireless technology is set to expand even faster in the next five years. Extensive research is being done to study the health risks, such as cancer and brain tumors, by exposure to electromagnetic radiation. Such towers have not been in use long enough to produce conclusive evidence, but do we and our children want to be the guinea pigs for the telecom industry? Every effort needs to be made to work with the industry, and to oppose it where necessary, in order to require the industry to develop an infrastructure which does not necessarily impact property values or the quality of life.
We Need Local Zoning and Government Authority To Represent Both Citizen And Community Interests at local, state, and national levels and we definitely need more stringent laws and ordinances regarding cell phone towers in residential neighborhoods for the welfare of the community.
It will be extremely important for as many concerned community leaders and concerned residents as possible to attend and speak out on the need for regulatory reform. Zoning meeting is on November 16 at 7:30 pm.
Fairmount- Stonewyck Action team
Stonewyck homeowner association
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