CingularWireless application denied
Zoning Board of Review says “no” to proposed cell tower on Tashtassuc Road
Although the agenda was short for the Jan. 24 meeting of the Zoning Board of Review, Cingular Wireless took upwards of two hours to present its case to an unrelenting panel that voted unanimously to deny its application for a variance and special-use permit.
Attorney James Lombardi represented Cingular in its final attempt to acquire a variance and special-use permit to erect a 75 foot wireless communications antenna at 179 Tashtassuc Rd. The 64,468-square-foot property, owned by Narragansett Electric Company, is located in a RR200 zone in the Windmill Hill historic district near the scenic corridor of state Route 138 and North Main Road.
The applicant alleged that the 75-foot pole would satisfy a significant gap in coverage needed to fulfill the needs of an unspecified number of existing and furure customers. The zoning board perceived the firm’s reasoning differently.
In their motion to deny, the commissioners cited that “the hardship from which the applicant seeks relief results primarily from a desire to increase its phone network, attract customers, and realize a greater financial gain.”
The board members based their motion to deny the application in a 14-point finding of fact document that included the town Planning Commission’s unanimous vote to deny the application on Oct. 5, 2005. They also cited violation of the Zoning Ordinance that provides for the protection of the natural, historic, cultural, and scenic character of the island, as well as condemning the proposal for not being consistent with the town’s Comprehensive Community Plan.
The zoning board had denied the application once before, but the applicant was allowed to apply again provided its application offered significant changes. The board members felt that the applicant’s evidence did not meet its burdens.
The only other business on the board’s agenda was a request by Brian Galvin to build a new house in the footprint of an existing house on his property at 509 Seaside Drive. The application was to renew a previously granted variance for the original house to build 19 feet from the front lot line, where 30 feet is normally required, and 7 feet from the southerly lot line, where 10 feet is required. The vote to approve the application was unanimous.