Falmouth Appeals Board Denies Cell Tower

“The farm is not for sale.”

These were the words of Joseph Andrews, the spokesperson for the family that owns Tony Andrews Farm in East Falmouth, following a vote by members of the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals last night, July 17, to deny Industrial Wireless LLC its application to erect a cellphone tower on land that abuts the farm.

Mr. Andrews said earlier that if the tower were erected it would jeopardize the farm and that it might have been sold as a result.

“The people’s voices carried today,” he said. “This is such a landmark to the town for so many years and to see it carry on in this way is such a significant relief. To have the cell tower denied is not only a win for the residents of the area but a win for the people of Cape Cod and Massachusetts.”

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Board members Matthew J. McNamara and chairman David A. Haddad both voted against the project while Patricia P. Johnson and Kimberly A. Bielan voted in favor.

Mr. McNamara said that he stumbled on the comment of attorney Jeffrey T. Angley, a representative of Industrial Tower & Wireless, that the area suffered from a two-mile gap in coverage, what he said was a significant gap. Mr. McNamara argued that two miles was not necessarily a significant gap in rural Hatchville. Mr. Haddad agreed and said that we would have cell towers “popping up every two miles.”

Mr. McNamara said that the applicant did not submit information based on how many users were experiencing problems in the area, a reason he voted against the application.

He also noted that there did not seem to be any urgency on the part of the applicant. When asked why they had not submitted an application sooner, he said that their answer was “no one asked.”

“I have a concern with that,” Mr. McNamara said.

He said that there was not enough effort made on behalf of the applicant for alternative sites as well. “The comparison that has been done tends to be more efficient for Industrial Wireless than what was deemed less detrimental to the town,” he said.

Ms. Johnson said that she was satisfied with their proposal after she read through the Cape Cod Commission’s decision to allow the tower. “That’s significant,” she said. “This board does not have significant or substantial enough evidence that would stand up in court if we denied this applicant and it is appealed.”

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