Cell tower would require town vote

LYNDEBOROUGH – AT&T Wireless wants to place a 100-foot communications tower near the town barn off Locust Lane, and selectmen would like to have it there to provide some needed income for the town.

Two obstacles stand in the way, however. First, the spot is town-owned land and placement there will require a vote of the town.

“The tower will go someplace,” Selectman Dwight Sowerby told the Planning Board on Thursday. “If not at the town barn, then it will go someplace else, and the town needs all the money it can get.”

The question will probably be on the warrant for Town Meeting in March.

The other possible problem is the State Historic Preservation Office, which rules on the impact of such towers on historic sites within 1½ miles of a proposed tower. Citizens’ Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, falls within the limit, and the tower would be visible from the hall.

But simply because it would be visible from the hall might not rule out the site, Sowerby said.

A letter from Linda Wilson of the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, notes, “if, during the land use review and approval process, the likelihood of visual impacts on properties that may be historic becomes apparent, additional consultation with the Division of Historical Resources will be required to mitigate any potential visual impacts.”

Photos taken during a recent crane test, where a crane of the proposed height of the tower is parked at the proposed site to determine from where it could be seen, shows the crane above the tree line and visible from Citizens’ Hall parking lot.

The board will meet with the state agency to discuss the matter further.

An AT&T spokesmen asked for conditional approval of the plan, pending a vote at town meeting in March, but the board still has some questions and continued the hearing to Dec. 18.