State Representative T. R. Rowe (R-123) hailed the passage of legislation by the General Assembly which will require applicants before the Connecticut Siting Council who wish to install new cellular towers to work more closely with municipalities where the proposed host site is located.
Rowe says the bill makes significant improvements to the law, and will give impacted towns a stronger voice in process of locating telecommunication cell towers.
“Current law doesn’t have very much flexibility with regards to the concerns of towns, or residents who may be directly impacted in numerous ways by the placement of cell towers,” said Rep. Rowe. “This measure will go a long way toward granting towns and their citizens more say in the process to make sure there is an adequate balance between sustaining our technological infrastructure and enhancing the rights of citizens to preserve their neighborhoods.”
The bill prohibits the placement of wireless telecommunications towers 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.
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.
H.B. 5271, An Act Concerning the Siting Council now heads to the State Senate for action there.