Home » Conservation Commission takes on Siting Council (again)

Conservation Commission takes on Siting Council (again)

FALLS VILLAGE — The Inland Wetlands and Conservation Commission voted Monday night, Oct. 17, to have Chairman Ellery Sinclair write a letter to the Connecticut Siting Council to request a public hearing on proposed regulation changes regarding cellphone towers.Sinclair said the change would make it more difficult for nonprofit organizations to take a position on issues such as the recent proposal from New Cingular Wireless (ATT) for a tower on Cobble Hill.The Siting Council rejected that application in August, and cited the work of the town’s Inland Wetlands and Planning and Zoning Commissions (and Patty and Guy Rovezzi) in their decision.This proposed change would make it more difficult for organizations such as the Housatonic Valley Association or The Nature Conservancy to get involved in Siting Council hearings.The letter that Sinclair will send requests that a public hearing on the rule change be held. If the Siting Council receives 15 such letters then there will be a public hearing.“I think we can get 15 people,” said Sinclair.Also on the Siting Council front, Sinclair reported to the commission that New Cingular Wireless is taking legal action against the Siting Council for denying the Cobble Hill tower application, citing the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996.Sinclair said he did not know if commission members would be called on to testify, and the commission went into executive session to talk it over.Note: At a special meeting Sept. 23 at the home of Kimberly Brooks (24 Arnott Drive), the commission took a firsthand look at a replacement deck and a set of stairs located on the bank of the Housatonic River. The commission found that the bank under the deck and by the stairs was “severely eroded during recent flooding,” the pilings under the deck were partially exposed, and the stairs compromised.“There appears to be potential for any structure on the river bank and its environs to be swept away in future flooding events,” the commission concluded.The commission approved Brooks’ application regarding the deck with five conditions: the deck be moved back from the riverbank; the exposed pilings originally below ground level be left to minimize further disturbance; the deck not be attached to the house and be elevated to allow water to flow underneath during a flood; and the river bank be stabilized with vegetation.

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