Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Board Rejects Maspeth Antenna Plan

Proposal Moves to Boro Prez Before BSA Eventually Rules

As expected, Community Board 5 unanimously voted against a proposal to place six cellular antennas on top of a Maspeth apartment building. The proposal will move on to the borough president for review before the city ultimately rules on it.

At its meeting last Wednesday in Christ the King High School, Land Use Chairman Walter Sanchez reported to the full board that the committee felt that a “saturated condition” already exists on the roof at 53- 00 65th Place. Companies generally don’t need special approval for cellular antennas, but a variance is needed in this case because the roof already contains antennas for Sprint, Verizon and the 911 system.

Sanchez noted that the new antenna would result in the building exceeding the amount of square footage allowed to be used for cell antennas and said the roof is already damaged from a 2008 fire. There are also concerns over light, noise and long term health impacts that the antennas would have on the residential neighborhood. Finally, the company made no effort to find space on a nearby commercially-zoned building, said Sanchez.

After hearing the Land Use Committee’s recommendation, the full board voted 33-0 to reject the application. A hearing is scheduled before Borough President Helen Marshall on December 3 before the matter is eventually referred to the city Board of Standards and Appeals, which has final say in matters regarding zoning variances.

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