DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

February 27, 2014

Derry councilors split on cell tower plan

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — DERRY — A vote by the Town Council ended in a tie, thus denying a plan for a new cell tower to be built in town.

The six councilors in attendance at a meeting Feb. 18 were split on whether to OK a plan to put a new AT & T cell tower near the town’s Rider fields off Tsienneto Road.

Representatives of AT&T contacted the town last fall with a request for a possible cell tower. The plan included a diesel generator, telecommunications shelter and equipment, and a pole that could reach 150 feet.

Derry’s zoning doesn’t allow towers in that area. AT&T would have had to go before the town’s Zoning Board to obtain a variance.

The town has other towers, with a few considered unattractive, especially one located near the Central Fire Station, Councilor Brad Benson said at an earlier meeting.

Two towers were in place before Derry had any telecommunications restrictions in place, said George Sioras, the town’s planning and development director.

Others went through the entire approval process, but were never built.

“We haven’t built one of these things in 15 years,” Councilor Neil Wetherbee said. “We keep getting applications and we keep not building them.”

If approved, this tower have required a zoning variance and also would have to go through the planning process, including discussion on any health risks or other factors that might affect abutters.

After the split vote, Council Chairman Michael Fairbanks said this was not a plan for that part of town.

“The town worked hard to get a cell tower zoning ordinance put in place,” he said.