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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 10092008
Minutes of Meeting— October 9, 2008
The Hudson Board of Appeals met in the Selectmen’s Hearing Room, Town Hall, Hudson, Massachusetts.  At 7:30 p.m., Chairman Lawrence Norris called the meeting to order.
Present:        Lawrence Norris, Joe Peznola, Dorothy Risser, Christopher Tibbals, Todd Pietrasiak, James Smith, Darja Nevits, Jennifer Burke, Planning Director and Teresa Vickery, Clerk.
Petition 2008-04, 43 Broad Street, Special Permit
The Board is in receipt of a letter from Andy Candiello from MetroPCS requesting a continuance to the Boards next meeting

Lawrence Norris, seconded by James Smith, made a motion to continue the public hearing for 43 Broad Street until November 13, 2008 at 7:30 PM.

Vote:  7-0-0, Unanimous

Petition 2008-06, Saratoga Drive, Special Permit & Variance
Present were:   Brian Grossman, Atty. at Law
                Sameer Parakkavetty, Omnipoint Communications, RF Engineer

Lawrence Norris continued the public hearing for Saratoga Drive.  The applicant is seeking a special permit to install a wireless communications facility without the required fall zone setback in an SA-8 Single Family District.  

Atty. Grossman submitted supplemental materials from Michael D. Martel from Martel Engineering, Inc.  This package explains why the design is appropriate for this location and that it meets code.  Radio frequency maps were also included that illustrate the coverage from certain locations on the pole as previously requested by the Board.  Atty. Grossman concluded that the absolute minimum for locating on the pole would be 100 feet, he went on to say that a height of 80 feet leaves a gap in coverage at Wilkins and Main Streets.  

In regard to the concern about the batteries, the base station cabinets are constructed of heavy-duty steel and are vandal, puncture and explosion resistant.  The cabinet is 24 feet by 7 feet.  

At the previous public hearing, Mr. Peznola asked why the applicant does not increase the distance of the tower to the property line.  Atty. Grossman explained that this would result in the tower being located on a steep slope, which would be unsafe.  Mr. Peznola maintains that he wants to compel the applicant to reconfigure the plans in order to meet the 100-foot setback requirement.
Mr. Norris asked where the manhole cover is located on the site.  Mr. Massa believes it is approximately 10 yards from the fence line.  Mr. Norris then asked that the location of the manhole be identified by the DPW.  

Mr. Norris asked what the base of the compound is.  Atty. Grossman stated that it is graveled.  Mr. Norris then asked what impact this would have to the storm water runoff.  Atty. Grossman explained that the amount of impervious surface is minimal, therefore, there will be minimal reun off at the site.   

Mr. Petriasiak questioned where the vehicles would go when on the site and what type of vehicles.  Atty. Grossman said that they would be able to drive up to the fence but not into the fenced in area.  The vehicles are SUV type vehicles similar to a Ford Explorer.  

Mr. Norris for an explanation as to the way in which the tower will be constructed so as to have a failure radius of 40 feet.  Atty. Grossman explained that the crumple point of the tower is toward the middle of the monopole.  He went on to say that Omnipoint will require that the manufacturer overdesign the bottom of the tower in order to strengthen the base forcing the crumple point higher to 60 feeth.    

Andy Massa, 15 Michigan Drive asked why Omnipoint does not consider locations that are closer to the gap on Wilkins Street.  Mr. Norris explained that this is not part of the overlay district.  Mr. Massa then stated that there are no details on the plans regarding the towers footing.  Atty. Grossman explained that this is not done until a building permit is sought.  

Mr. Massa asked how the tower is erected.  Atty. Grossman said that it is erected in sections.

Mr. Massa read a letter in opposition into the record signed by the abutting residents.  

Mark Calvanese, 8 Champlain Drive believes that it is not a valid argument to rely on a crumple point that has not proven to be.  

Judy Sabourin, 14 Michigan Drive urged the Board to deny this petition.  

Ms. Risser asked if there was anywhere on the lot that the pole could be erected with a 100-foot fall zone.  Mr. Peznola said there was.  She then asked if they could locate on the water tower because there is currently one on the Coolidge Street tower.  Ms. Burke explained to her that this specific water tower was designed to accommodate the wireless communications facility.

Joe Peznola, seconded by Darja Nevits, made a motion to close the public hearing for Petition 2008-06.

Vote: 7-0-0, Unanimous
Petition 2008-07, Crestview Drive, Special Permit
Present were:   Brian Grossman, Atty. at Law
                Sameer Parakkavetty, Omnipoint Communications, RF Engineer

Mr. Norris continued the public hearing by first reading two letters stating opposition to the cell tower into the record.  The first was written by William R. Wade Jr. of 6 Crestview Drive and the second by James Billings of 98 Murphy Road.  

Atty. Grossman addressed a comment in Mr. Billings’ letter that states that Omnipoint is “taking the easy way out”.  Atty. Grossman argued that the easy way out would be for Omnipoint to utilize space on the tower if they could.  He went on to say that the only space available on the tower is at 66 feet and the tree line is at approximately 75 feet and there would be a negative impact below the tree line.  Atty. Grossman informed the Board that AT&T is using two spaces, one at 96 feet and the other at 86 feet and Verizon is utilizing the space at 76 feet, therefore only leaving space at 66 feet.  The available height is the reason for Omnipoints reluctance to collocate.  

Atty. Grossman stated that this tower cannot be moved due to the location of surrounding trees, radio frequency interference and the shadowing and blocking of signals.  Mr. Peznola would like that a radio frequency engineer engaged by the Town verify that the tower cannot be moved for these reasons.  Mr. Parakkavetty explained that the closer the facilities the more interference this causes.  

Mr. Smith references the by-law and believes that it specifically states that the tower is to be erected in the middle of the lot.  Anthony Tummino, 3 Crestview Drive feels that the by-law is not written in a way which allows more than one tower on a lot.

Mr. Wade urges the Board to deny this petition and limit only one tower per neighborhood. Atty. Grossman explained that the Telecommunications Act promotes competition and therefore Omnipoint has every right to file this petition.  

Ms. Nevits asks that the applicant supply the Board with coverage maps for the level that is currently available on the pole.  

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Joseph Peznola, made a motion to continue the public hearing for Petition 2008-07 until November 13, 2008 at 7:30 PM.

Vote: 7-0-0, Unanimous


Joseph Peznola, seconded by James Smith, made a motion to approve the minutes of July 10, July 31, August 14 and September 4, 2008, as written.

Vote: 7-0-0, Unanimous


At 10:00 p.m., Joe Peznola, seconded by Lawrence Norris, moved to adjourn.

Vote: 7-0-0, Unanimous