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.