John Purcell/Recorder staff
From left, Brian Gaudet, of Mobilitie, holds a map while Deptury Mayor and 3rd Ward Alderman Chad Majewski points out other sites the company may be able to install a cellular transmission tower in the city. At right is Anthony Natoli, who owns the home at 52 Glen Ave.
By JOHN PURCELL
Recorder News Staff
Several residents were reportedly unhappy an approximately 120-foot pole was proposed to be erected in the right-of-way along Bunn Street, but the Amsterdam Zoning Board of Appeals held off making a decision Thursday so a compromise could be reached.
Deputy Mayor and 3rd Ward Alderman Chad Majewski said he received calls from around a half dozen residents, with many being elderly people who likely would have issues attending the city Zoning Board of Appeals meeting. Majewski said he also was concerned about the proposed location, which was eyed to be installed on the east side of Bunn Street just south of the entryway to Wilbur H. Lynch Literacy Academy.
“People are concerned about their property values,” Majewski said. “This is going right in their backyard.”
Majewski said the proposed cellular transmission pole is more than double the height of typical telephone pole, which is usually 60 feet. He was also concerned about school buses leaving the middle school property, because the buses often make a wide turn onto the road where the pole is eyed to be installed.
Brian Gaudet, of wireless infrastructure provider Mobilitie, said the company is seeking to install the 120-foot pole in the public right-of- way to provide increased cellular data capacity to meet usage demands of the area. A use variance is required, because the right-of-way is on residential zoned property.
“Right now, existing infrastructure and existing sites are being overloaded by data usage,” Gaudet said. “Existing sites — regular cell tower and rooftop sites — have voice, text and data. This is to help offload those networks, so the voice and text works better and still gives us the capacity and high-speed data that we all need.”
Gaudet said he believed a lighting beacon would be required at the top of the pole per federal regulations.
The zoning board tabled the resolution after discussing the proposal.
Zoning board member Ronald Barone suggested an alternate site be identified through Gaudet working with various city officials.
Fellow zoning board member Art Iannuzzi asked why multiple sites were not identified, including water towers or other near existing sites on the roof of buildings.
Gaudet said signals for emerging cellar transmission can’t be built at the same fees required for hosting the towers, because more towers must be built due to the range being limited. He added the location would allow for “line of sight” to other towers, which avoids having to dig up “thousands of miles street” to get fiber from site to site.
Iannuzzi asked Gaudet if he envisioned the need to install more towers in the city, because it would set a precedent allowing the company to approach the board again. Iannuzzi cautioned board members once this type of variance is granted there would likely be more applications.
“In my neighborhood, I wouldn’t want to see one of these,” Iannuzzi said. “I’m tired of looking at multiple telephone poles, let alone I’d want to see a 120-foot pole jutting up in my neighborhood like I want a hole in the head.”
Gaudet said there are no additional tower planned at this time requiring a zoning variance.
Majewski said the pole is “ugly” and nobody would want it anywhere easily visible from their property. He stressed he was not against the overall proposal if a more suitable location was identified.
“We want faster service, we want to have high speeds,” Majewski said, “but I just don’t think this is the right location.”
Gaudet agreed to meet with city officials to identify possible alternative sites to installed the transmission tower