State Representative Tony Hwang (R-134) voted in favor of a proposal today on the General Assembly House floor 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.
Hwang, who co-sponsored the legislation, says the bill makes significant improvements to the law, and will give impacted towns a stronger voice in process of locating telecommunication cell towers.
“Our modern technology driven world has forced us to consider a proper balance between our desire for telecommunication ease and community aesthetic and safety,” said Rep. Hwang. “Current law does not require the Siting Council to take into consideration a number of issues which are a significant concern to host communities and residents who are located next to proposed cell tower sights and the height restrictions for the community. This bill will require that some of these concerns be taken into consideration.”
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.