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Cell Tower Eyed for Private Property in Township

Chatham Township Board of Adjustment has granted a variance for the temporary tower on residential property.

The Committee is expected to discuss Thursday night whether to endorse a decision by the Zoning Board of Adjustment to permit a temporary cell tower on a residential property.

T-Mobile applied to the Zoning Board for permission to install a tower along River Road in the township to provide service to customers during .

Existing T-Mobile towers sit on top of PSE&G towers, which will be removed for the utility company's upgrade project. To continue service, T-Mobile has asked for towers at the and , and they hope for a third tower on the residential River Road property.

The Zoning Board approved a resolution which allows several variances for the antenna for T-Mobile at 610 River Rd. after they heard expert testimony and read reports on the issue. Those variances are:

  • a "D-1" use variance to allow installation of wireless communications facility on a residential lot
  • a "D(6)" height variance (35 feet permitted, 102 feet proposed)
  • a "D-3" conditional variance for the maximum width of panel antennas (12 inches required, 13.3 inches proposed)
  • and several "C" variances for the setback distance, rear yard setback distance, side yard setback distance and the height of the fence (6 feet required, 7 feet proposed.)

"The application indicates that the temporary tower ... [is] necessary to continue service to wireless customers for a two year [sic] period," the resolution reads in part, and includes proof that additional towers elsewhere in the township would not allow continued service to customers.

To install the towers, two dogwood trees will have to be removed, though the Zoning Board's resolution stipulates "four trees of similar native species [will] be planted when the area [is] restored after the temporary tower [is] removed."

The plan requires a conservation easement, in writing, from the property owner, and final determination by the Chatham Township Committee as to whether the temporary tower can be allowed.

The tower is currently listed as a discussion item, for possible resolution or ordinance, on the agenda for Thursday's committee meeting.

A full copy of the Zoning Board's resolution and the agenda for Thursday's meeting may be found in the Photos & Videos section of this article.

Concerned Resident August 16, 2012 at 02:31 PM
All residents of Chatham Township, should be concerned because tonight's decision will set a precedent for any future cell phone tower installations on residential property throughout the Township. This will pave the way for any of your neighbors to enter into similar agreements impacting your property values.The proposed site is steep slope, conservation easement which was established in 1996 by the Resolution that subdivided the original lot and is zoned for Residential use only. T-Mobile was given waivers for soil erosion, sediment control, and water runoff on a lot that contains some slopes as steep as 70% . The Board of Adjustments did not respond to residents concerns regarding the existing drainage and erosion issues which already exist for River Road residents. They chose to believe T-Mobile's "expert" paid witnesses instead. This proposed project is a direct violation of the conservation easement on the land AND residential property use. We need to send a message to our town committees and elected officials that they need to keep the best interest of Chatham residents in the forefront when making decisions. Please be sure to attend tonight's Township Committee Meeting at 7:30 pm In the Township Municipal Building (58 Meyersville Road) to assure that future cell phone towers do not appear on residential properties throughout Chatham Township.
Surprised August 16, 2012 at 04:05 PM
I cannot believe they are entertaining this. Residential land is residential land and specifically zoned that way. The precedent this sets for this town is very dangerous and this should be stopped.
TCG August 16, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Did any money change hands in this deal? If I want to lease out my backyard for a Stones concert, a tractor pull, a wet t-shirt contest or a fireworks show (all temporary of course), do you think I'd get a variance? It took me 6 months to get a variance for an 8-foot addition to my home and the town did everything it could to charge me as much as possible for it. Think they are charging this homeowner for the variance? Or are they charging T-Mobile? Or is T-Mobile paying the town? Or is T-Mobile paying the homeowner? If so...how much and where is the money going? Again...silence from all the right wing zealots in town who scream about government being too intrusive. Is there anything more intrusive than a cell tower in your neighbor's yard? This doesn't even pass the laugh test. Amazing.
Richard E. Templin August 20, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Oh and since we know he is going to ask about the hack website. Our is http://savegreenvillage.com Their side is http://www.greenpathlandcare.com and http://www.gvgarage.com Check them out for yourselves.
jimmy October 18, 2012 at 02:12 AM
All of Templin's credentials are false...he is a fraud... do the fact check. He is full of lies and harasses and attacks anyone who doesn't agree with his ridiculous views. He actually lives in NY, not Chatham, so why is he running for Chatham Township Committee...check the facts. Don't vote for Richard Erich Templin that got fired from Pfizer. A vote for Templin is a vote for a dick!

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