Owner Speaks Out Against Proposed Cell Phone Tower in City
Timothy W. Scee II
Special to Newzjunky.com
Published March 2, 2011
WATERTOWN, N.Y. — The
owner of a 32-year-old city business told members of the
Watertown City Planning Board Tuesday that a proposed
cellular tower, which could be erected near his property,
may hurt both his and others’ businesses because of a
potential “obstruction” of view.
Chester F. Gray, who operates the Watertown Health &
Racquet Club, 431 Eastern Blvd., said that while a report
confirmed the tower’s construction would be “minimally
evasive” to the environment, it may not yield similar
results for his business.
“The one big picture window that we have looks right on
that alley where the tower would be and there’s nothing
really pretty,” Gray said.
The 104-foot tower, expected to be built at 491 Eastern
Blvd., would be 100 feet wide on each side and enclosed
with a chain link fence.
“A monopole tower is just the uniform or tapered type of
tower, it doesn’t have guy-wires and its not the lattice
type tower that you see with steel,” Michael E.
Cusack, an attorney who represented St. Lawrence Seaway
Cellular Partnership, said.
The Planning Board said a special use permit would need to
be given, as the tower would be classified as a public
“I would ask you not to hurry with the recommendation
because I think there’s more to look at,” he told the
“Public utilities are allowed in all zoning districts,
from Residence A all the way up, but it also requires
approval of the City Council after a public hearing and
that’s a special use permit,” City Planning and
Development Coordinator Kenneth A. Mix said.
The site plan review was approved by the Planning Board
and will be sent to the Watertown City Council for a
public hearing and and vote.
In other business, after plans to build a Dunkin’ Donuts
franchise at 440 State St. were sent back to the developer
in September 2010 by the Watertown City Planning Board due
to zoning issues, its members approved the revised site
plan review Tuesday.
Robert C. Abbott, Jr., an architect who represents ESW
Realty, LLC, said most of the concerns, including sanitary
flow, sidewalks and paving made by the Planning Board,
were fixed except for a traffic signal design and
“The only thing that we haven’t really had the chance
to get into, because they’re not very detailed, is the
traffic signal and intersection modifications, the
technical part of it,” Abbot said.
An untimely memo left the developer little time to review
the Planning Board’s comments regarding the traffic
light design, according to the architect.
The board unanimously approved the plans, which will be
presented to the Watertown City Council for final
Construction is expected to begin this spring with the
store opening by summer.
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