Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hopefully the final article

Cell tower proposal for Tinton Falls withdrawn
Residents had opposed tower in residential area
Staff Writer

TINTON FALLS — The 100-plus concerned citizens who packed Borough Hall last year to oppose a proposal for a cell phone tower can now rest easy.

Tinton Falls Mayor Michael Skudera announced at the April 5 Borough Council meeting that the T-Mobile application for a cell tower in the borough has officially been withdrawn.

Skudera previously announced in February that the borough had reached a verbal agreement with the N.J. Turnpike Authority to change the site of the proposed T-Mobile tower from the grounds of the Church of Christ at 312 Hance Ave. to a site along the Garden State Parkway in Tinton Falls.

At that time, the application for the Hance Avenue site was not officially withdrawn from the borough’s Zoning Board of Adjustment agenda, but Skudera said last week that it finally is official.

“We have the letter from the attorney, so it’s official,” he said.

T-Mobile attorney James Pryor confirmed Monday that he did draft a letter withdrawing the application for Hance Avenue but would not comment further.

T-Mobile first appeared in front of the borough’s Zoning Board last July at a meeting that was attended by close to 100 residents, most of whom opposed the original location.

The main concern that has been raised in recent months about putting the cell tower in a residential neighborhood is that a proper safety study has not been done about the effects of cell tower-generated radiation.

Soon after the first hearing on the cell tower application, resident Nancy DeSimone formed a group named RACE (Residents Against Cell tower Exploitation) to oppose the proposed tower being located in her neighborhood.

Michael Laffey, attorney for RACE, said in an interview this week that his clients are relieved the fight is officially over.

“I’m glad for my clients’ peace of mind that the application has been withdrawn,” he said. “I don’t know the reasons why they withdrew it.

“I understood the mayor had some influence on it in that regard. Certainly my clients are very grateful to the mayor,” he added.

During the public portion of the meeting, resident Joseph Largey expressed cautious optimism until the Zoning Board officially approves the withdrawal.

“Back in February it looked like T-Mobile was withdrawing their application thanks to some good work from the borough,” he said. “I am just waiting until the Zoning Board meeting before I can celebrate.”

As of April 11, the Zoning Board had not officially accepted the withdrawal, and the next meeting is scheduled for April 21.

Largey went on to thank the borough for getting the application withdrawn.

“I want to thank everyone for their efforts on this,” he said. “That monstrosity would not have looked very nice on Hance Avenue for any of us.”

Skudera previously said that the council and borough administration endorsed the move to the parkway for the cell tower.

He also said that there are not a lot of other places in the borough that would work for both T-Mobile and the residents.

“It is something that gets the cell tower away from a residential zone and puts it in a better place — along the parkway — that is better suited for that,” Skudera said.

“This was an area that was best suited for a tower. The whole area where it is [proposed] now is residential; this was the closest suitable spot on the parkway, and it fits in very nicely.”

Skudera said the parkway spot probably isn’t ideal for T-Mobile, because the carrier would lose some coverage, but he estimated that the site would still allow for about 90 percent coverage.

The first hearing for the proposal started last July, and the Zoning Board heard a series of testimony on the proposal at several meetings since then.

T-Mobile was next scheduled to appear in front of the board in May, but that appearance has since been canceled.

A 2007 application by the Board of Education to build a cell tower at Mahala F. Atchison School also drew widespread opposition and was never built.

Contact Kenny Walter at

Friday, April 1, 2011

Withdrawal letter from T-Mobile Attorney (Looks like it's official!)

March 31, 2011

Doug Gottfredsen
Zoning Board of Adjustment
Tinton Falls Municipal Building
556 Tinton Ave.
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724

Re: T-Mobile; TFZB 2009-19; 312 Hance Ave.

Dear Mr. Gottfredsen:

I have been authorized by T-Mobile to advise you that the Applicant desires to withdraw this case, without prejudice. At the next board meeting, would you kindly have the Board accept our withdrawal without prejudice? I presume that our attendance would not be required, but please advise me if my attendance is requested for any reason. Obviously, this will render the May 5, 2011 hearing date moot.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

T-Mobile Cell Tower Application Withdrawn (article from Tinton Falls Patch)

The application to build a cell tower on Hance Avenue in Tinton Falls, which garnered significant opposition from residents, was withdrawn on Friday, according to Mayor Michael Skudera.

By Amy Byrnes | Email the author | April 1, 2011

Editor's Note: This article was updated to include comments from Tinton Falls resident Meg Rubinstein, who was active in opposing the cell tower application.

The application by T-Mobile to build a cell tower on Hance Avenue in Tinton Falls was withdrawn on Friday, according to Mayor Michael Skudera.

The wireless company filed plans to build the 120-foot tower on the property of the Monmouth Church of Christ on Hance Road in July.

Residents living near the proposed cell tower were very active protesting its approval, even picketing in front of the church on the weekends, posting signs in their yards and hiring an attorney, according to Dale Diamond whose home is a stone's thrown from the proposed site and who spoke to Patch about the issue in February.

"What a relief," said Tinton Falls resident Meg Rubinstein, who lives in the Greenbrier Falls development and was active in coordinating oppostition to the tower. "Residents, besides dreading the thought of having to look at such a monstrosity every day, were very concerned that property values would erode and theat there miay be negative health effects from the radiation emitted from the cell tower," she said in an e-mail.

Rubinstein also mentioned the cell tower fire along the Parkway in February as a cause for concern for residents as well.

The borough was contacted in February by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority with a proposal to replace a temporary tower on the Garden State Parkway at mile 108.3 with the T-Mobile tower.

According to Skudera, T-Mobile is also considering a site near the Monmouth County Reclamation Center on Asbury Avenue in Tinton Falls.

The borough council voted unanimously in February to support the relocation of the tower.

"We all rely on cell phones," said Rubinstein. "However, we need better technical solutions ... to cover transmission system gaps."

"The last thing that any of us needs is monstrous fake trees towering over residential developments," said Rubinstein.