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New cell tower is proposed in Dewittville

DEWITTVILLE — Chautauqua town officials are being asked to approve a new telecommunications tower.

The Chautauqua Town Board has scheduled a public hearing to take place on Dec. 14 at 7:15 p.m. at the Chautauqua Town Hall, in the former school gym.

The proposed cell tower is 130 feet tall and would be placed at 5392 E. Lake Road, Dewittville. The tower will not have lights for airplanes because of its size. There will be security lights that will be installed. The property is currently vacant. The cell tower would actually be accessed off of Springbrook Road.

The Chautauqua Town Zoning Board held a hearing earlier this month on the cell tower, which requires a special use permit.

During the zoning board meeting, it was noted the Dewittville-Hartfield United Methodist Church sent a letter supporting the tower.

But not everyone supports the project.

John Funka, who lives on Meadows Road, said he is opposed to the proposed location of the tower. “My wife and I take walks every morning on Springbrook. When we take a walk we’re going to be looking at a cell tower right there next to Springbrook Road. I’m flabbergasted,” he said.

A representative with the cell tower stated that Verizon selected that location due to a number of factors, including poor cell phone coverage, available land, natural landscaping, and higher elevation. “Here you’ve got an elevated area, you’ve got wetlands that were accounted for, and you also have the land owner’s input, where on this parcel do (they) want a tower … that would not obstruct other uses of the property,” he said.

Still, Funka expressed his disapproval. “You’ve got a small hamlet of houses in Dewittville and you’re going to put a 130-foot tower amongst the houses right off of Springbrook,” he said.

According to town officials, the location is zoned residential/agricultural and cell towers are a permitted use.

The town Zoning Board unanimously recommended the tower be approved, but members want to see shrubbery and landscaping be installed. The town board will have the final decision following the Dec. 14 public hearing.

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