“LETTING THE TOWER BE A TOWER”

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Today’s Asbury Park Press reports that the cell tower planned for Fair Haven won’t be a giant faux tree or, as reporter Larry Higgs puts it, won’t resemble a common bathroom cleaning implement.

Borough Planning Board members only had two suggestions Tuesday night about the design of a municipal cell phone tower proposed for a leased square of United Methodist Church land — make sure it won’t blow down in a gale and don’t make it look like a toilet brush.

A “courtesy” review by the board of the plan included testimony by engineer Kevin Leary that the tower, which will be between 140 and 160 feet tall, would affect fewer homeowners than a 133-foot monopole proposed by Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile on property owned by the Church of the Nativity.

Leary said there are 43 homes 1,000 feet away from the Verizon-T-Mobile tower compared with 23 homes the same distance from the borough tower.

Board member John Christie, who also was drafted to hear the Verizon application due to a lack of zoning board members without a conflict of interest, questioned why the borough tower wasn’t going to be camouflaged to look like a tree, as Verizon’s was.

“The governing body felt that letting the tower be a tower would be the least intrusive,” [wireless consultant Declan] O’Scanlon said. “It’s in the middle of a stand of trees, there won’t be a full view of the tower.”

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