Minutes of the Hancock Planning Board Meeting
September 1st, 2010


Members present: Tom Bates, Carolyn Boland, Steve Froling, Rich LeFebvre, Roberta Nylander, Mark Stevens, Ellena Weston-Zimmerman, Dan LaPlante (alt) and Linda Coughlan, Recording Secretary

Others Attending: John Champ, from Industrial Tower & Wireless

7:00 P.M. – Froling called the meeting to order. The minutes of the August 18th meeting were accepted as presented. Froling referenced several items of correspondence that had come in for the Board since the last meeting.

The Board invited John Champ from Industrial Tower and Wireless to join them at the table. Froling noted this meeting was a deliberative session not a hearing. He said the Board would be discussing the report provided by the radio frequency engineer, Mark Hutchins, as well as other issues relative to the cell tower.

Froling referenced the following items that had come in since the August 18th hearing:

1) Driveway – Froling said Kurt Grassett had responded to Champ’s letter of 8/18 in which they had requested waivers from the Driveway Regulations. Grassett stated he had reviewed the waivers with the Fire Chief and he feels they will grant the waivers with the condition that they are only for the current and proposed use at the time of approval.

2) Maintenance Agreement – Froling said this had been passed on to Bart Mayer for review.

3) Storm water – Froling said the Building Inspector, Charlie Stevenson, had walked the proposed cell tower site with Phil Mathewson and could not see any problems with the project. He said the sediment pond and Mathewson’s plan for drainage should handle any storm water.

4) Letters from the Waterbury’s – Froling noted the emails that had been received from the Waterbury’s, a brother and sister, who had a seasonal home that faced to the east of Norway Hill. Froling said the Board would need to address this later on in the meeting.

The Board was in agreement to move forward reviewing cell tower issues that Froling had complied in a checklist.

Coverage gap – Froling noted that Mark Hutchins was in agreement with ITW that there was a coverage gap. Rich LeFebve said since the tower will cover Rt. 202 and not the village, it seems the village will be short changed. He asked if there was any way to get coverage in the village. John Champ responded by saying that the former site on Norway Hill would have been the way to go because of the location. Froling said Hutchins also agreed that would have been a good site for coverage. After discussion, it was the consensus of the Board that there was a coverage gap in all types of service and that this project would fill the gap at the frequency they are proposing.

Height – Froling said Hutchins had recommended that the tower be 180 feet inclusive of attachments. Champ said they would like to get as many carriers as possible with attachments on the tower. He said the tower would be 180 feet inclusive of any attachments. The consensus of the Board was that they were OK with the height issue.

Landscaping – Froling said the site seemed to be adequately screened and that the intention of the applicant was to leave the area outside the enclosure uncut. LaPlante asked if the trees would be maintained in the five acre parcel out side of the fence. Froling mentioned that it could be a condition of approval to only clear cut within the fence. Froling said this was also covered in the Conditional Use Permit.

Setback/Separation – Froling asked the Board if they had any issues with the setback which they did not.

Design Issues – Froling asked the Board if they had any issues with the monopole design that had been presented. The color was discussed and Champ noted that the color for cell towers was “cellular tower gray”. Froling noted that it would be a condition that the tower be built to the specifications set out in the application.

Lighting – Froling remarked that the applicant has said the only exterior lighting will be a light near the door to the enclosure. Champ said that was the case and the light would be motion sensitive. There would not be any lighting on the top of the tower.

RF Exposure- As discussed at the hearing, a letter had been submitted by the applicant from Donald Haes, a certified Health Physicist, who had concluded the RF exposure at full tilt to be less than one-half of one percent of the current RF guidelines. Haes also stated that with 200 additional structures located at that site, the RF exposure would still be within the RF guidelines. The Board was OK with the RF exposure issue.

Subdivision – Froling said the subdivision could be a condition upon approval of the application. The Board was in agreement with this.

Appropriate Location – It was the consensus of the Board that the specific site was in an appropriate location for the proposed use.

Impact on Property Values – Froling noted that they had only received comments pertaining to the impact on property values from the Waterbury’s which they intend to address.

Traffic Nuisance – The Board did not feel that the proposed use and plans for parking, access and egress would not create a nuisance or hazard to the public.

Other Nuisances – The consensus of the Board was that the use would not create other nuisances such as noise, odors, fumes,smoke, dust, vibrations etc.

Water & Waste – It was noted that the Building Inspector had not found any storm water issues when he made a visit to the site.

Driveway Permit – The driveway would be required as a condition for approval. Froling noted that the plan had been approved by Kurt Grassett for limited use for the cell tower and that the maintenance agreement was pending approval by Bart Mayer.

NEPA – Champ said they will submit the NEPA report as soon as they receive it. This would be a condition for approval of the application.

Historic Preservation – Champ said they are still waiting for a response and will submit that when they receive it. This would also be a condition.

Co-Location – This agreement has been sent to Bart Mayer for review with no response yet.

Other Locations – Froling said the applicant has supplied detailed maps showing all of the carrier’s towers and monopoles in the state within a 20-mile radius, both active and inactive. Froling added that Mark Hutchins found the maps to be adequate.

Hold Harmless – Froling said the agreement has been sent to Bart Mayer and there has been no response at this time.

Building Code – Safety Standards – Froling said this would be reviewed by the Building Inspector.

RF Testing at abutter’s home – No requests have been received.

Bond for removal and Liability Insurance – Both of these will be reviewed by Bart Mayer and the Select board.

Objection from Waterbury’s – Froling said in the correspondence, both sister and brother had stated that they hadn’t received notice of the hearing, had missed the balloon test and were requesting another test. They were also concerned about the use having an adverse impact on their property values. The consensus of the Board was that Froling would draft a letter stating proper notice had been given to the abutters of the property, and had been published in the newspaper as well in the Happenings. The letter would also state the Board only has authority to request one balloon test and if they want to arrange privately for another test, the Board would not object. Also, the Board would recommend that they submit a professional opinion backed with comparables, etc. showing values before and after cell tower installation to show property values would be adversely impacted by the use. The letter would also suggest that the Board is not certain the September 15th hearing would be continued, so they had only a short time to submit any documentation.

There being no further questions or comments by the Board, the meeting adjourned at 7:55.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Coughlan
Recording Secretary


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