Bloomfield, Connecticut Staff Report

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Petition No. 1020


Bloomfield, Connecticut

Staff Report

December 27, 2011

On November 30, 2011, the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) received a petition from MetroPCS for a declaratory ruling that no Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need is required for the extension of an existing telecommunications facility at 12 Burr Road in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Council member Larry Levesque and Siting Analyst David Martin visited the site on December 27, 2011 to review the proposal. Andy Candiello represented MetroPCS at the field review.

The existing telecommunications tower at 12 Burr Road is 130 feet tall and was approved under Docket 379. Currently there are three carriers located on this tower: T-Mobile at 127 feet, Verizon at 117 feet, and AT&T at 107 feet. The Council also approved a tower share request from Clearwire to install antennas at 97 feet. Although Clearwire has not yet installed its antennas, its lease is still active. The highest location on this tower available for MetroPCS is 87 feet, a height that its RF engineers have determined would not provide the service they are seeking to achieve at this location.
MetroPCS is proposing to add a 10-foot extension to the existing 130-foot tower to bring it to a height of 140 feet. MetroPCS would install six antennas, two per sector, on T-arm mounts at a centerline height of 137 feet. Because of the number of cables already installed inside the tower, MetroPCS may have to install its cables on the outside of the tower. A structural analysis has determined that the tower is capable of supporting the 10-foot extension and the proposed antennas, whether the cables are installed inside or outside of the tower. MetroPCS’s ground equipment would be installed on a concrete pad in the southwesterly corner of the existing compound. No extension of the compound would be required.
The existing tower and the antennas installed on it are painted brown. MetroPCS’s representative stated that MetroPCS would paint the extension and its antennas to match the existing color.
Council staff calculates that the addition of MetroPCS’s antennas would bring the facility’s cumulative power density to 45.7% of the FCC limit for maximum permissible exposure.
During the docket proceeding for this facility, the visibility of the tower, especially for the neighbor directly across the street from the property on which the tower is located and from Auer Farm, located to the west of the tower, was a point of some discussion. The visibility of the built tower is fairly localized and is limited by topography and mature vegetation in the surrounding area. Although the tower is prominently visible from the entrance road to Auer Farm, it is not visible from most of the farm and the most-used buildings on the farm.
The proposed tower extension is not expected to have any substantial adverse environmental effects. Staff recommends approval with the condition that the tower extension and MetroPCS’s antennas are painted brown to match the existing facility and antennas.

View of existing tower

(Photos taken July 12, 2011)

View of existing tower from 11 Burr Road, across the street from Maple Hill Farm

View of existing tower from across Burr Road

View of existing tower from Auer Farm entrance road

View of existing tower from Burr Road

Simulated view from application

View from Route 185, looking southeast

Simulated view from application

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