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Telecommunications ‘Monopine’ Tower Approved For Cedar Grove Lane

Chad Schwartz

Chad Schwatrz, an engineer hired by Verizon Wireless, testifies to the zoning board at its Nov. 2 meeting.


Verizon Wireless received approval Nov. 2 to erect a 118-foot-tall communications tower near the Cedar Hill Swim Club on Cedar Grove Lane.

The tower – which company representatives called a “monopine” – will be disguised to blend in with surrounding trees. The approval for the tower was given by the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Company representatives told zoning board members that the tower was needed to fill a service gap in the general area. Verizon has a number of other towers and cellular antenna placements throughout the township.

The company most recently received approval to place antennas on top of the Avalon at Somerset apartment complex on DeMott Lane.

Chad Schwartz, one of the engineers retained by the company, told the board that the tower would be installed in a 50-foot by 50-foot “compound” situated at the end of a driveway between the swim club and the Cedar Hill Preparatory School.

The closest home to the tower, he said, would be about 587 feet away.

The company’s initial plan was to erect an 8-foot chain-link fence around the perimeter of the compound, but after a request by several board members, representatives agreed to change that to a 10-foot fence made of composite material.

The tower will hold three groupings of four antennas each, Schwartz said.

He said an equipment pad will be located in the northeast corner of the compound, which will hold a propane-powered backup generator and several other pieces of equipment needed by the tower.

The tower will be surrounded by trees an average of 60 feet tall, he said.

Board chairman Robert Thomas noted that the property is “extremely accessible,” and is used for late-night swim parties by the swim club and as an “unofficial parking lot” by the prep school.

“There should be a gate on Cedar Grove Lane that is locked unless the swim club is in operation to protect your property,” he said.

Richard Stanzione, Verizon Wireless’ attorney, said his client would approach the property owner about installing the gate.

“People drive in and out of that property at all hours of the day and night,” Thomas said.

Anthony Ganim, a Cedar Grove Lane resident, said the planned pole was “pretty good-looking, compared to a regular pole.”

In response to a question from Ganim about emissions from the pole, Sean Haynberg, an RF engineer, told the board that testing showed the radio frequency emissions from the pole would be well below standards set by the federal government.

“You could have 200 of these towers and still comply with federal requirements,” he said.

 

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