The State House unanimously supported An Act Concerning the Siting Council (HB 5272) which forbids wireless communication towers from being sited within 250 feet of a school or commercial day care center unless the location is acceptable to the town’s chief elected official or the Siting Council finds that the facility will not have a substantial adverse effect on the aesthetics of the area where the schools or commercial day care facilities are located.
For the fourth consecutive year, State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Lile Gibbons (R-150), Fred Camillo (R-151) all sponsored this bill and it is now headed to the Senate, and hopefully to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
“Through this legislation, the State of Connecticut will properly prioritize the safety of children, students, and adults who work in schools and child care centers and allow the local officials to have input when siting cell towers in the vicinity of these buildings,” said Rep. Livvy Floren.
Rep. Fred Camillo sits on the environment committee and last year insisted that “child care centers” also be included in the language in addition to schools and it was in the final bill that was voted on yesterday. Rep. Camillo added, “Connecticutwill lead the way in planning and development by considering health and safety concerns when placing cell towers near schools or day cares. It is a common sense and precautionary measure, one that will give each of the 169 municipalities some input when these applications are filed.”
Rep. Lile Gibbons said, “The latest transmission technologies, safety standards, and neighborhood concerns including the proximity of schools and child care centers are top concerns for our communities. The Siting Council should consult with the municipality’s leadership when determining where to put cell towers. I am pleased to see the passage of this bill.”
The bill requires applicants to work with host municipalities in the pre-application process, and extends the municipality consultation process from 60 days to 90 days. It also requires the applicant to utilize the latest technological designs intended to minimize aesthetic and environmental impacts.
Additionally, the bill permits the municipality to initiate civil action against any party that intentionally omits or misrepresents facts in the process.