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Hearing set on proposal to reduce size of cell-phone tower zone on Strout Road

The Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, Aug. 13, 2018 on a proposal to reduce the size of the zoning district that allows telecommunications towers at 14 Strout Road.

The zone covers the entire parcel at 14 Strout Road and is an overlay of the underlying residential zone.

Justin Strout, representing the family Tower Specialists Inc., is asking the size of the tower overlay zone be reduced to just that portion of the property suited for telecommunications towers.

The Planning Board on June 25 voted to recommend the zone change, after two workshops and after holding its own public hearing. "It's important to note that it's a two-phased process," said Planning Board Vice Chair Joe Chalat.

Earlier this year the board approved plans for Tower Specialists Inc. to remove five existing towers and to build a new, 180-foot tower as part of a consolidation plan. The first phase of the zone reduction leaves a fall-zone area around an existing tower currently leased by Crown Castle. The second phase further reduces the tower zone, contingent upon removal of the Crown Castle tower by April 1, 2020.

Strout has said that the family is doing estate planning and wants to reduce the tower-overlay zone to make room for possible residential development.

One of the goals of the Town Council is to improve cellular and telecommunications infrastructure and explore related revenue opportunities.