COLONIE — A cell tower on Watervliet Shaker Road was advanced through the process at the last Planning Board meeting.
The tower, proposed by Evolution Site Services would be constructed on a 10,000-square-foot parcel on land owned by Bonded Concrete, who is the co-applicant along with Cellco Partnership. It would be home to antennas for Verizon and T-Mobile cellular services.
The property is zoned industrial and a cell tower is an accepted use and it will comply with all Federal Communications Commission and Federal Aviation Commission guidelines, said Chris Cioffi, the principal of Evolution Site Services, who presented the plan on behalf of the applicants.
Two balloon tests were conducted to determine where the top of the tower could be seen from and it was determined it was not as intrusive to the view shed as the nearby electric transmission towers. Those towers stand about 80 feet tall but they are constructed on land that is a higher elevation than the proposed cell tower.
“The neighbors are currently looking at a transmission corridor with transmission towers,” Cioffi said. “With a structure like this, in this setting, with the other existing structures that are actually bigger in girth that what we are proposing, with the side arms and the wires, this will be unobtrusive.”
The Zoning Board of Appeals issued a special use permit and the project received a zoning verification form from town Building Department. The company will provide a $75,000 removal bond for when and if the tower is taken out of commission.
The tower will be 17-foot across the bottom and 4-foot wide at the top. It will have the capacity to house antennas and other infrastructure for four cellular companies.
The land, part of a 32.6-acre site at 228 Watervliet Shaker Road where Bonded has a concrete making and trucking facility.
There were not any members of the public present to speak for or against the plan.
Federal law dictates much of what happens with the siting of cell towers but there are some things the local planning boards can influence such as screening and/or re-locating the tower on the site to minimize the impacts it will have on neighborhoods.
The tower and antenna will “provide a safe level of both emergency and non-emergency communication services (in-building and mobile) to the Town of Colonie, including areas along Watervliet Shaker Road, Grenada Terrace, Fairview Avenue, Homewood Avenue, Lincoln Avenue, Addison Street, Franklin Street, Spring Street Road, Bridgewood Lane, Parker Road and 10th Street,” according to the narrative submitted to the board.
Once approved the facility will take no more than 10 weeks to build and once operational, it will not be manned and require only periodic, twice a month, visits by technicians.
“I can’t think of a better place for a cell tower,” said Planning Board Chairman Steve Heider.