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Wasserman Bill Would Provide Local Control Over Telecom Towers



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Wasserman Bill Would Provide Local Control Over Telecom Towers

State Rep Julia Wasserman (R-106) has introduced a bill into the state legislature that would provide local control over the siting of wireless telecommunications towers.

The proposed law would require that all decisions involving the location of Personal Communications Systems (PCS) or cellular towers be made at the local level.

The Connecticut Siting Council, a state agency, currently makes such decisions, according to Mrs Wasserman.

The council tries to make reasonable decisions on where telecommunications towers should be constructed, Mrs Wasserman said in a statement.

However, because the council is a statewide panel, its members often lack detailed knowledge about a location where an applicant wants to build a tower, she said. As a result, the council may approve tower projects that are environmentally or aesthetically insensitive, she said.

Local land use agencies are comprised of people who have first-hand knowledge of proposed tower sites and are able to make better informed decisions on whether a tower location proposed by a telecommunications company is an appropriate location, she said.

The proposed law would give the responsibility of approving tower sites to local land use boards, which are better equipped to make such decisions, she said.

The siting council, however, would retain a role in tower siting decisions under Mrs Wasserman’s proposal. Tower applicants could appeal rejections of applications by local land use boards to the siting council.

Under the proposed law, the council would provide technical and scientific assistance to local land use agencies that request such help in considering applications for telecommunications towers.   

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