Last week, the East Hampton Town Planning Board voted to approve an 185-foot AT&T tower as it met the town’s technical criteria for tower placement. The East Hampton Press reported the tower would improve cell service and provide a critical boost to emergency services communications.
Prior to approval, the project was met with reservations by the public, including effects on property values, concerns over visual aesthetics, and environmental impact.
However, the proposed location, a 16-acre town-owned property, met most of the requirements for the East Hampton Comprehensive Plan for tower siting. “There isn’t another site — this is it,” board member Sharon McCobb said.
AT&T and the town have been in negotiations since 2017, when the Planning Board denied an application by the carrier to mount its antennas on an existing wind turbine that was located on an active agricultural property. AT&T sued and won, according to the Press. As part of the settlement with the town, AT&T required approval on the tower project within 60 days. If authorization was not received, the carrier could place the antennas on the wind turbines. The “shot clock” ran out last week.
Initially, AT&T applied for a 160-foot tower, but the town asked for a height increase to 185-feet. The town intends to mount radio antennas for its new $11 million emergency communications system on the tower.
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