Tom Curley urges neighbors of proposed cell tower to participate in Master Plan review

“What kind of town do we want to have ten years from now?” said Curley, in a personal Master Plan outreach.
Tuesday, April 21, 2014

Editor’s Note: Following last Wednesday’s public hearing on the Homeland Verizon cell tower proposed for Armonk Road, Planning Board member Tom Curley addressed the neighbors who had spoken passionately in opposition to the project.  “I’ve lived here for 20 years,” Curley began.  “I live over on the other side of town, in Millwood, and I came here for exactly the same reason I think everybody here has said they did too. . .

. . . because it’s a beautiful, wooded, natural environment.  And just to get out of our everyday lives, working downtown, and to raise our families here.  So I am in complete sympathy with the comments that have been made here.”

Referring to a balloon test conducted over the winter to mark the height of the proposed cell tower, Curley said of the Planning Board, “We’re stuck between a rock and a balloon at this point.  We really have some decisions to make here.  There are matters of law that pertain here, and then there are matters of community character.  And we have to find the right solution to this.” 

“There’s currently a Master Plan process that’s going on it town right now.  It’s being run by the town; there’s a Steering Committee that meets every two or three weeks, and it’s an open, public process.  I think it would be excellent if the people in this room, those of you who can afford the time and those of you who care—I can tell you care—to show up at these meetings and voice exactly these concerns you’re voicing here tonight. 

“There is a certain amount of energy going into trying to figure out what kind of town we want to have ten years from now.  And there are points of view that say we want a different town than we have now.  And there are points of view that I don’t hear so much which is “You know what?  We just want it to stay the way it is.”  And I don’t have a particular feeling at this point, because we’re too early in the process to know exactly what the right answer is, but I think that in order to come to the right answer we need public participation from people like you to come to meetings like that and be as eloquent as you have been tonight about community character.  And so far I don’t think there’s been enough of that and I applaud you for coming here tonight and I’d like to encourage you to participate more.”

Infrastructure subcommittee a good fit

“The Steering Committee is trying to set the process in motion,” said Planning Board member Richard Brownell.  “One of our subcommittees is infrastructure, and I would think that this kind of activity [cell tower placement] would fit this subcommittee.”

“And infrastructure is probably a good place to be,” said Curley, “in making contributions because it’s not just cell phone towers.  It’s the mess—in my opinion—that Con Ed and Cablevision have made of the poles and the wires.  It’s just unconscionable the way they’ve been treating our community.  And I think that there rightfully should be some push back on that because if there isn’t they’re just going to continue to make a mess of it.  There are the county and state roadsides which are just getting out of control and it’s unnecessary.  I feel that that kind of environmental impact is something which I actually think is may be potentially even more impactful than a cell tower.  Not that a cell tower isn’t important, but there are other things that happen on a basis that, over time, just sort of accrues and before you know it you wake up and say, ‘Oh my god, what happened to my road?’

“So this is the time. The town is inviting people to come out and speak on these subjects and I invite you to really look around the community and think abut these things and contribute to it.”

“And while you can go to any one of the meetings that will take place in May,” added PB member Richard Brownell, “the one on May 10, a Saturday, will be held at Horace Greeley High School.  That’s probably the closest one to many of you.”

“As part of the Master Plan process,” said Town Planner Sabrina Charney, “there will be public outreach meetings occurring in the month of May, taking place throughout the community.”

The town’s Master Plan review

There is a Master Plan Steering Committee meeting on Tuesday, April 22, with consultants for the community outreach, Pace Land Use Law Center, at 5:00 p.m. at town hall in the assembly room.  For background and archived articles on the Master Plan process, visit NCNOW’s Master Plan page.

The community outreach meetings are scheduled for:

Wednesday, May 7 at Bell Middle School 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 10 at Horace Greeley High School 9:00 a.m. to noon

Thursday, May 15 at Westorchard Elementary 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 21 at Seven Bridges Middle School 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.

For more information, click HERE.

The public hearing on the Homeland Verizon cell tower was adjourned until [that is, will continue on] May 20, 2014

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