Verizon's proposal to construct a cell tower on a resident's private property on Puddin Hill Road in New Canaan has reportedly been met with opposition from the Grace Farms Foundation, which plans to build a new church and community center on an adjacent 75-acre property which it recently acquired.
According to a report in the New Canaan News, the 125-foot monopole cell tower would include a wind turbine and, as proposed, would be positioned in the middle of a meadow which is near the site of the proposed Grace Farms facility, dubbed "The River."
The retreat, which is to include a $60 million modernist-style church and community center, designed by Japanese architectural firm SANAA to blend in with the natural environment, will include open space which will be available for use by the New Canaan community.
"To have a 126-foot tower in the back yard of something that is so significant for New Canaan and for the state … would be an embarrassment," Sharon Prince, president of Grace Farms Foundation, said during a public hearing held Tuesday at New Canaan High School, according to the New Canaan News report.
Officials from Verizon reportedly said they would continue to look for a better location for the cell tower.
A recent survey shows a majority of New Canaan residents favor the construction of more cell towers in order to improve cellular service. A similar survey was launched by the town when a proposal to build a cell tower on the property of Silver Hill Hospital in the Valley Road area was being considered in 2010.
A June 2012 report from the New Canaan Utilities Commission found that the town "has an immediate need to improve its wireless telephony infrastructure; the need for which is well documented (911 safety, economic growth)." The report adds however that "those that develop the infrastructure (carriers & tower construction companies) are not self-directing new builds."
It will be ultimately up to the Connecticut Siting Council to approve the cell tower.
For more check out the New Canaan News report.