Rockland nixes cell tower plan

Posted Sept. 27, 2012, at 11:59 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 27, 2012, at 1:09 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — The city’s Zoning Board of Appeals has rejected a controversial proposal to erect a 100-foot cellphone tower on the Rockland Golf Club.

The zoning board voted Tuesday night to reject the permission needed by U.S. Cellular to erect the tower on land it would have leased from the golf course.

The zoning board ruled that the proposal did not meet the requirements for a conditional use in a residential zone and that the landscaping plan was inadequate.

Many residential neighbors on Old County Road had opposed the tower, saying it would have affected their views.

Five neighbors spoke out against the plan and one spoke in favor at Tuesday’s hearing, according to Rockland Code Enforcement Officer John Root. He said there also were other neighbors in attendance who did not speak.

Attorney Richard Trafton of Auburn, who represents U.S. Cellular, said the company’s headquarters will review the matter and a decision will be made within a few weeks on whether to appeal the board’s decision.

Trafton said he had no comments on the board’s vote.

An appeal of a zoning board decision would be made at the Maine Superior Court level if one is filed.

The company had proposed the tower to eliminate some dead zones in the area, particularly around Glen Cove.

The flagpole-type tower was proposed to be located next to a quarry by the S-curve on Old County Road across from where the golf course clubhouse is located. In addition to the tower, U.S. Cellular planned to erect a 12-by-20-foot building for equipment. The building and tower would be enclosed by a 35-square-foot fence.

The company planned to lease 6,400 square feet of golf club property for the tower and building.

The zoning board initially voted 2-1 to reject the approval sought for the cell tower but a second vote was taken because for a vote to count, a majority of the five-member board must say yea or nay. On the second vote, it was 3-0 to reject the application.

One member recused himself from the vote because of a possible conflict of interest. There is also one vacancy on the board.

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