Download a detailed presentation about the Soundview Cell Tower
What the Soundview Cell Tower is expected to look like.
Did you know being closer to a Cell Tower actually reduces the radio frequency waves transmitted? See the Harvard Study and read it for yourself.
Did you know that the American Cancer Society concluded that there is no credible health risk associated with Cell Towers? Read for yourself.
Did you know that the faux tree cell tower will only be 85 feet high, plus 5 feet of concealment material, so it will have a maximum height of 90 feet? Compare that to the 140 foot water tower at Waveny and the 120 foot towers on Route 123 and Valley Road (which you probably never noticed). The soundview faux tree cell tower will be surrounded by mature evergreen and deciduous trees, some 65+ feet tall.
Since there is no health risk and it will be concealed, how can property values be affected? The evidence of comparable sales suggests that sales prices were not affected on Valley Road or on 123 when the 120 foot cell towers were installed at Silver Hill or the CCNC.
Bad cell service has been identified as a serious safety issue - your life and the safety of your children may depend on good cell service.
Thank you for taking the time to become informed about the actual proposal and the science and facts. Please do not be taken in by misleading statements and pressure exerted by the NIMBY crowd. Please support the Soundview Cell Tower.
75% of 911 calls across America are now made on cell phones. Source: Federal Communications Commission
On January 4, 2012, Rob Mallozzi was told at a Special Meeting of the Board of Selectmen by Geoff Pickard, the prior Administration’s point man on Cell Service, and by Jim Cole, then Emergency Management Director, that 25% coverage in New Canaan for cell service was a serious issue of Public Safety.
On April 20, 2017, our Police Chief, Fire Chief and New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corp Captain testified to the Town Council about the public safety hazard of poor to non-existent cellular phone service: "My rigs depend on AT&T and Verizon. We can’t keep kicking this can down the road much longer. Someone is going to die. We have dodged a bullet a number of times. I implore that we find a solution to this."
"[Radio frequency energy] has not been found to cause cancer in animals or to enhance the cancer-causing effects of known chemical carcinogens in animals. For these reasons, the overwhelming majority of consensus documents from various health agencies worldwide agree that cell phones and base-station antennas are unlikely to cause cancer."
"In one large study, British researchers compared a group of more than 1,000 families of young children with cancer against a similar group of families of children without cancer. They found no link between a mother’s exposure to the towers during pregnancy (based on the distance from the home to the nearest tower and on the amount of energy given off by nearby towers) and the risk of early childhood cancer."
"First Selectman Moynihan has said for months that he believes it is likely that private properties would be involved in helping to solve the Town’s gaps in cellular communications, especially in northern parts of town where there is very little Town-owned land. "
St. Luke’s Neighbor Pursues Cell Tower on Private Residential Property
Having moved to New Canaan a couple months ago I considered the bad cell phone coverage to be just a strong inconvenience, since I could make calls through my home Wi-Fi.
I read that the Town is working on the problem. I would have expected a town having so many well-connected residents to have better phone connections. When I read about the local resident working to get a cell tower on his private land, I thought “At least someone is doing something.” (Advertiser, March 1, ‘Resident plans cell tower on his private property’).
The same issue contained a full-page advertisement railing against the tower.
Given the events of the past 10 days I would upgrade that ‘strong inconvenience’ to a ‘Major Problem.’ Since our power went out in the second storm, we had no home Wi-Fi to use to get a phone connection, and many people had similar problems. More than a third of New Canaan lost power in the second storm. The blockage of roads and the loss of phone coverage was a hazardous situation. I can get a phone signal if I drive somewhere, but with the roads blocked that was not a possibility.
I could hike to some location and get a phone signal but it is not a good idea with live wires down.
Accordingly, my interest in seeing this cell tower come to pass has increased. One argument says it is “bad precedent,” and could lead to other private individuals putting up cell towers. Another argument was that cell towers are unsightly and would ruin the neighborhood.
I would consider it a good precedent, given our early March weather. And I would welcome a slew of new cell towers arising in town, whether on public or private land. As far as private individuals reaping “bountiful profits,” the income from a cell tower really isn’t all that great.
Some of the old-style towers are unsightly but there are newer versions with newer technology that are not unsightly. And just think about all the poles carrying power, telephone, cable, and data. They appear on almost all our roads. We are used to them and there is no big outcry there about unsightly stuff in our neighborhoods.
I applaud Keith Richey in taking the initiative to establish a cell tower on his property. New Canaan needs better coverage, and Keith is working within the boundaries of his private property and the State of Connecticut imposed requirements. I wish him the best in his efforts.
Finally someone is doing something about the lack of cellphone service. We should commend these folk for stepping up to the plate. public safety is a big concern – just talk to the folks whose house burned due to lack of cell service. Living in a “dead zone” is unsafe, inconvenient, and detrimental to property values. Both Harvard and the American Cancer Assoc support such towers as being safe. New Canaan should support this initiative whole-heartedly.
Improving cell service in the northeast section of New Canaan should be a non-zero sum game. If the opponents of the proposed tower could empirically prove the economic and health costs of the tower exceed the benefits of better cell phone coverage for 1000’s of residents, please have at it. But remember, the benefits side includes the possibility of saving a life in an emergency situation plausibly caused by a fallen tree or fire or icy road conditions. And add-in the unnecessary costs of households maintaining a backup land-line service (and all those damn solicitation calls). For those who say get a home signal booster, I say how will that help emergency services who transit our area or the many service providers who come to my home. Lastly, I’d like to tell my children and houseguests cell service has improved. For 15 years my family and I have lived with poor to no cell service. Time to get signal. I support our elected officials push to improve coverage.
...I’m curious, are you at all concerned about the health and safety of those people who live near the cell towers that give you such great service (save for the “dip” on Laurel Road of course!)? Or do you accept, as do all real scientific studies, that cell towers are totally safe? That they emit the same “radiation” as FM radio towers and microwave ovens (which, btw, have caused zero issues for anyone, anywhere at any time in history?). If so, it seems somewhat hypocritical that you’d take such umbrage with someone trying to solve New Canaan’s crazy cell service problems while, pardon my french, offering merde in the name of alternative solutions? I, for one, think better cell service actually improves property values. If nothing else, it certainly helps my Uber driver. But I defer to you to provide proof that good cell service has an economic downside. And while you’re at it, proof that cell towers pose a safety risk (which, btw, if they actually do, you might want to consider moving since you apparently are in a danger zone). In the meantime I applaud Keith Richey and hope more private residents follow suit.
This is to confirm that a Lease Option Agreement has been signed with Homeland Towers (the town’s selected cell tower provider) for a potential cell tower at 183 Soundview Lane. The LOA requires a cell carrier to sign-up as sponsor in order for anything to happen. No carrier has signed.
If a carrier does sign up, then the town will have the opportunity for input. After the input period, a cell tower site application may be made to the Connecticut Siting Council (CSC). The CSC has complete control of cell towers in Connecticut and established this process. There is no other process and there has not been any shortcuts in the process.
Under the Lease Option Agreement, a cell tower with a maximum height of 85 feet could be constructed. The tower is required to be of the newest and best faux-tree design with three branches and foliage per foot to conceal all external antenna in the form of a “faux” evergreen tree native to Connecticut. The faux branches will start at 20 feet and extend to as much as 5 feet above the tower to achieve complete concealment and natural appearance.
The faux tree won’t look at all like the terrible one on the Hutch and will be much nicer than recent one constructed in North Salem. It will be surrounded by evergreen and deciduous trees, some reaching 65 feet or more. Compare the maximum (including camouflage) height of 90 feet to the 140-foot water tower and 120-foot towers on Rt. 123 and at Silver Hill.
In May 2017 the journey began when I was asked by then Councilman Kevin Moynihan if I would mind having a cell tower at St. Luke’s School (SLS) since it is next to my home. I understood immediately the attractiveness of the location, because Soundview Lane has one of the highest elevations in New Canaan and the cell service in the area is terrible. I responded to Kevin that I would mind and that if there had to be a cell tower in the area, I would prefer it be on my property so I would have control for its location, size and appearance.
Kevin suggested that I contact Ray Vergati of Homeland Towers, the tower company that has contracted with New Canaan, to understand the current state of affairs and my options. I did so and Ray (Homeland Towers) confirmed that there had been a discussion with SLS. I was also told that the woodsy area we have that adjoins the upper SLS playing fields would be a good site for a cell tower (CT) and they would be interested in entering into discussions.
I called Rob Mallozzi, then first selectman, to tell him of my dilemma. Rob was supportive and suggested that I contact Tom Tesluk, head of the Utilities Commission, a cell tower expert and someone who attended the meeting with SLS. Rob also gave me access to Cityscape, the engineering firm advising the Town regarding cell service. Tom Tesluk confirmed that there had been a meeting with SLS but would not divulge the details as this was a private meeting.
I was not at the SLS meeting and will never know exactly what was said at the SLS meeting or meetings. The point is that I did believe that SLS would entertain the idea. It was with that fear that I began my investigations and tentative discussions with Homeland Towers.
Tom Tesluk said that better cell service in our area was important and confirmed that our location had been identified as an optimal site by Cityscape. Tom provided a copy of the excellent public presentation that the Utilities Commission had prepared. I then contacted Cityscape and had the first of many discussions with them. They told me that SLS and my property were “the best sites in New Canaan” for a cell tower because of its elevation, topography, and isolation.
I also learned from Cityscape that only the Connecticut Siting Council has control over the approval process for cell towers. The town has the opportunity to provide input once a lease has been signed by a carrier and a landowner. In fact, I read many of the site applications that are available in the CSC public records.
I spent weeks researching the health aspects of cell towers. Obviously, the health issue was critical as we are talking about a potential cell tower that would be a few hundred feet from our home, whether at SLS or on our property.
Some people have characterized the results of the studies on the health impact of cell towers as “inconclusive” but my view is that these studies are as conclusive as any good science can be. Frankly, I can’t understand how anyone who can read can believe that there is any credible health concern. The position paper of the American Cancer Society concludes “most researchers and regulatory authorities do not believe that cell phone towers pose health risks under ordinary conditions,” and a Harvard Study which states that because “a cell phone needs to operate at greater power for its signal to reach base stations further away. This leads to more radio frequency exposure to the cell-phone users when base stations are widely spaced. When phone users are close to towers, the cell phone will emit signals at lower power, which means less radio frequency exposure to a user, so more towers generally reduce a user’s radio frequency exposure.”
“To date, there is no consistent scientific evidence of adverse health effects from exposure to radio frequency fields at levels below those that cause tissue heating.”
Cityscape provided me with the output from their work to determine the minimum height that a cell tower could be at our location and still serve the area. I was advised that the absolute minimum height was 85 feet, so that became the maximum height that we would accept and an essential part of the on-and-off negotiations with Homeland Towers.
I also researched cell tower design and found that it has progressed significantly and that new designs are available that provide excellent concealment. The new faux trees are virtually indistinguishable from a large evergreen tree which is optimal for a site like mine that is surrounded by trees. I confirmed with Tom Tesluk that this design would be optimal in providing coverage (versus the flagpole design on 123). This became another requirement of the lease negotiations with Homeland Towers.
My goal has been to only allow a tower design that none of my neighbors can see from their property (aside from St. Luke’s School) or if they can see any part of it, that they see it from hundreds or thousands of feet away and it looks just like a tree that fades into the landscape which is full of trees. The goal was also that no one’s property values would be affected negatively. I think these objectives were achieved and that if the subject cell tower is ever built, there will be no impact to our neighborhood.
Note that 183 Soundview is over 4 acres, is roughly triangular and the property on two sides of that triangle are owned by SLS. The other side is at the opposite end of the four acre lot. The potential site is on the corner of the property along the border with SLS across from the SLS playing fields and surrounded on the other side by our large woodsy area. The cell tower will be a considerable distance from any neighbor other than SLS. The Connecticut Siting Council has issued rules regarding the required distance from school buildings and the potential site more than complies with those rules.
Neighbors and communications I negotiated with my neighbors’ best interest in mind as my concern was, and remains, that someone will agree to a 110- to 150-foot ugly cell tower on our street in order to obtain more carriers and more rent. I prepared a long and detailed presentation for my neighbors to inform them about the potential cell tower but wanted to wait until a carrier had signed-on before releasing it. That did not work out as someone mentioned the negotiations to my neighbor, Hugh Wiley. Since then I sent my presentation to Hugh and my other neighbors and tried to explain the situation to them via multiple emails. I have offered to have neighborhood meetings at my home.
The negotiations were between me and Homeland Towers. I asked Kevin, Rob, Tom and the others who were aware to not disclose the negotiations because nothing might come of it and public discussion could make the process more difficult than it already was. Everyone shared the view that a cell tower to serve this part of town would be a good thing, would dramatically improve cell service in the area, which will make it safer and could in fact improve property values.
My investigations and the negotiations went on for months and for a long time it was not clear whether anything would ever be signed. The final height and design details were only agreed by Homeland Towers before the holidays after months of negotiations. Again, the Lease Option Agreement is essentially a framework that requires a cell carrier to sign-up. Then there is the opportunity for town input and then submission to the Connecticut Siting Council. That is the process in Connecticut.