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T-Mobile Appealing Rejected Wantagh Cell Tower Proposal

Wireless company attempting to reverse town zoning board's rejection of antenna plan for top of Farmingdale Wantagh Jewish Center.

T-Mobile has filed an appeal to try and reverse the Town of Hempstead’s recent denial of the wireless giant’s proposal to install antennas for a cell tower on the roof of the .

T-Mobile recently filed an appeal in federal court in Central Islip in response to the town’s mid December decision to deny the telecommunication company’s proposal, which would have involved installing six concealed wireless communication antennas and equipment cabinets on the roof of the Wantagh synagogue.

The wireless proposal for 3710 Woodbine Ave., Wantagh was met with staunch community opposition by local residents at a Oct. 6 Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) hearing held at Hempstead Town Hall due to concerns over the project decreasing property values in the area as well as posing potential health risks. The Hempstead BZA rejected T-Mobile’s application in a written decision issued in mid December in part because of the wireless company's failure to prove the need for improved cell phone service in the area as well as the potential the project could have on local property values.

“We believe that the Board of Appeals decision was right on the law and right for local neighbors,” said Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray in response to T-Mobile’s appeal. “We will defend the board’s decision vigorously in court.”

T-Mobile spokesman David Chauvin declined to comment saying its corporate policy not to publicly address pending litigation.

Hempstead’s rejection of T-Mobile’s Farmingdale-Wantagh Jewish Center proposal came in the wake of the town approving new aimed at banning new cell towers or antennas within 1,500 feet of homes, schools, daycare centers or houses of worship. The new Hempstead ordinance, which did not apply to T-Mobile's Wantagh application, also forces telecommunication companies to "meet the highest standard of proof in establishing the need for cell towers."

A spokeswoman at the Farmingdale Wantagh Jewish Center, which serves over 400 families in southeast Nassau County, declined comment on T-Mobile’s appeal. The conservative synagogue formed in 2007 from a merger with the Wantagh Jewish Center and Farmingdale Jewish Center. The congregation expanded further in 2008 when the Israel Community Center in Levittown also decided to merge with the temple.

Brian February 18, 2011 at 12:36 AM
Kate Murray is clueless on this whole issue. She depends on a consultant who can make upwards of $15K on an application and who helped write the law that compensates his company, to give "objective" testimony. What could possibly go wrong? I'm also curious whether Senator Fuschillo will be involved. He wrote a letter to chairman of the Zoning Board, date July 19, 2010, stating: "Since the proposed site is in a densely populated area and the building is frequented by many community members and children, I am adamantly opposed to the installation of cell antennas on the roof of the Farmingdale Wantagh Jewish Centre." That could be interpreted as political strongarming based on health. It would be interesting to see where this appeal goes.
Lorraine DeVita February 22, 2011 at 06:51 PM
Brian, So lets see I dont quite understand are you SUPPORTING that the Jewish center should be allowed to PROFIT as a NON profit by selling out the neighbors , devaluing property and ignoring quality of life issues? All to make a Dime? HMM.. how about the fact the T- MOBILE has the ABILTIY to utilize one or BOTH of the TWO towers placed on Public land right off the SOB within 3 miles in either direction of the Center for a higher cost with more powerful transponders? Is it called being cheap on the part of T Mobile and GREED on the part of the Jewish Center? IS it political Strong Arming if Senator Fushiullo had SUPPORTED the powerful mobility lobbists instead? .. He chose the high road, and the one that suports his constituants.. What a horrible thing to do support the people who you represent over greedy insensitive special interest groups! or Are you falsely stating that the main reason for denying the application is based on the presumption of health related issues which would cause the denial to be jeopardy? My question is this - Does having a Cell tower on the roof of ANY religous building give that religous organization a lower data and calling plan? Does it afford them the ability to TEXT or Call ahead for FREE to reserve a better position when they Pass On? Really this is just absurd because WE all know that if it was in either of the supporting organizations leaderships backyard they would be screaming the loudest.
Brian February 22, 2011 at 10:37 PM
Thank you for you response Lorraine. I actually spoke with the Senator, whom I very much admire, on this issue. I also presented him with an article that demonstrated how some of the local anti-cell groups have grossly misinformed the public with a complete distortion of research published by American Pediatric Association. As I do not wish to misquote the Senator I will not repeat his side of the conversation. The Senator (and many other politicians), in my opinion, is representing an activist portion of his constituency. Some of these activists are oblivious to the fatuity of the ToH regulations while others may have something to gain from them. I do not believe the Senator (nor any other politician who has spoken) has the background neccessary to make that statement with authority. I am unaware of the costs of moving the transmitters vs. the cost T-mobile's appeal. There is an obvious engineering benefit to having distributed lower power antennae vs. a single more powerful one -- it allows greater capacity for the same aggregate power. Finally, I did not state that the Senator's letter is the "main reason" for the denial (please review my post). It might be the misguided wrath of anti-cell tower activism .

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