Connecticut Sticks it to TowerCosComments Off on Connecticut Sticks it to TowerCos
The Connecticut Siting Council decided earlier this week that residents who do not want cell towers near their homes, but want a public forum held, won’t have to pay for the meeting. The company seeking to construct the tower must pay for the meeting. WTNH-TV reported that Senator Tony Hwang, a co-sponsor of the bill, is pleased with the new law and how it is a step forward for residents to be involved. “It is absolutely essential that residents who live near a proposed cell tower are engaged in the process early and in a meaningful way that is open, inclusive and respectful,” Senator Hwang said. “I am thankful this law provides a funding mechanism that helps achieve that for our neighborhoods without placing a financial burden on our already tight municipal budgets.” (Easton Courier) The Council has sole jurisdiction on all cell tower matters, and of the last 146 applications, 113 were approved, 12 were denied, and 21 were withdrawn. “I believe we all recognize the need for cell phone companies to increase their capacity to meet growing demand, but we must work together to create an equitable balance between their needs as businesses, and our rights and responsibilities as citizens to ensure the health and safety of people and our environment,” Senator Hwang said. “Once again, I’m confident that this new law puts us further down that path.” (Easton Courier) This new law builds on Public Act 12-165, which details the factors the Council must consider when approving a tower application. Currently the Council cannot approve a tower within 250 feet of a school or daycare center, and requires tower developers consult with the municipalities affected by the structure at least 90 days before applying to the Council.