Tinton Falls cell tower proposal gathers critics again
By KEITH BROWN
July 16, 2010 22:20 PM
TINTON FALLS - For the third time in a handful of years, a cellular telephone company has targeted land in the north end of town hoping to construct a cell phone tower.
And for the third time, a swell of opposition mounted a campaign against it, claiming the proposed 13-story tower - slated for a swath of property at 312 Hance Ave., the Monmouth Church of Christ property - was too close to residential neighborhoods and should not be built.
More than 150 residents packed the standing-room-only meeting on Thursday at the Zoning Board of Adjustment's regular meeting. They were armed with a lawyer, a petition against the proposal signed by more than 300 and a good amount of indignation.
"It just makes us sick to our stomachs," said Nancy DeSimone of Riverdale Avenue East, in an interview before the meeting. DeSimone's house is two doors away from the proposed tower.
The applicant, T-Mobile Northeast LLC, a division of T-Mobile, began testimony before around 8:30 p.m. The company planned to call four witnesses as part of its pitch to convince the board to grant a variance allowing the tower to be built. Current zoning bars the tower.
T-Mobile's testimony was expected to continue late into the night. Testimony from the company's first witness, an expert on Federal Communications Commission compliance, was under way at 9 p.m.
No decision on the tower was expected Thursday. No date for a continuation of the hearing had yet been set.
In 2007, a cell tower was slated for property near Mahala F. Atchison School, which angered residents who rallied against it. The site was not built.
In 2009, T-Mobile pitched the idea of building a tower on Apple Street. That application was withdrawn just as residents had begun to organize against it.