The Town Saugerties Planning Board had an initial look at the project at its regular meeting on Tuesday, March 17. Attorney Jessica Vigars said the company is seeking site plan approval from the Planning Board while also seeking a use variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals because the property, owned by Amalicia Addrizzo, is located in a moderate density residential district, which does not include cell towers as an allowable use.
The property contains more than 60 acres, and now contains just one residential building, Vigars said, of which Cellco Partnership would be leasing a 100-by-100-foot area. Within the lease area is a 75-by-75-foot compound to house a tower and an equipment shelter. “The project itself is a new build – a new tower. Proposed is a 150-foot monopole tower with an additional four-foot lightning rod, so the total height is 154 feet,” she said. There will also be a 12-by-20-foot equipment shelter.
The new tower is intended to improve coverage along the Kings Highway corridor and to bring cell coverage to Mount Marion.
In order to clear up an apparent contradiction in terminology, Vigars explained that the company’s site names don’t necessarily match the names of nearby roads. The proposed tower site is called Churchland. “It is located on Schoolhouse Rd., so there was some confusion about whether it was actually the same site we are proposing. We call it Churchland; it is just the way it was named.”
Planning consultant Dan Shuster explained that when the application was first presented, the building inspector pointed out that the pole is not permitted in the medium density residential district. Verizon was then referred to the Zoning Board of Appeals, which determined that the first step would have to be a determination under the State Environmental Quality Review Act [SEQR]. The ZBA also stated that it would appreciate the Planning Board assuming lead agency status for an environmental review.
After the environmental review is completed, the application goes back to the ZBA. If the ZBA grants the variance required for the tower, the planners would then have to determine whether to grant a permit for the tower. The board voted to take the lead agency status and perform the study.