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Planning Board Minutes 08/13/2013
I       Call to Order

Chairman Paul White called the Public Hearing to order at 7:00 p.m.

Present: Donna Cook, Jim Jansz, Phil Lowe, Joe McMahon, Tina Vanasse, Paul White, Code Enforcement Officer Brandon Woolley, Recorder Maureen Scanlon.

Absent: Rick Viles.

Guests present: Jim Libby, Josh Loiselle, Jason Hatch, Phil & Edie Harnden, Scott Anderson (Representing Verizon Wireless), Charles “Chip” Fredette (Representing Verizon Wireless), Hayden & Helen Coon, John Abrams, Marjie Jansz, Brenda McGuiness, Ann Farley.

II      Public Hearing – Site Plan Review (Wireless Telecommunications Facility) – (Property owned by William Allen) (Applicant is Verizon Wireless) –               Map 12, Lot 5C (Land Lot)

        Scott Anderson reviewed the site and structural design plans for this project in detail.  He explained the differences between the current cell phone coverage in the Sebago area compared to the proposed expanded coverage that will be provided by this new tower.  He answered questions from the audience.  Some of these questions addressed subjects such as:

The possibility of using existing tower structures that are owned by other entities; The total number of antennas allowed on each tower;
The emissions generated by this tower and the potential impact on the people that live in the immediate area;
The potential impact on the resale value of the bordering properties.  

        Scott Anderson explained that in their efforts to comply with their FCC License requirements and provide better coverage for their customers, Verizon strives to build the fewest number of towers at the lowest elevation possible, but they understand that at every site there are going to be people that are impacted more than others.  This is why they are required to comply with the town’s ordinance requirements and follow the rules, just as any other structure being built would have to do.   
Josh Loiselle presented a brief video demonstration that shows the effect of the radio waves from a cell phone signal and explained that a tower’s signal is much more intense.  He submitted a chart of “Results of Actual Measurements from 40+ Locations”.  A copy of this chart will be included in the Planning Board file for this project.  He also submitted samples of alternative options for a cell tower.  These alternatives were a microcell, a “booster” located on top of a utility pole, and a tower designed to look like a tall tree.  Scott Anderson and Chip Fredette explained why the first two alternatives would not be feasible in Sebago.  The “tree” alternative is a possibility if required, however, it was mentioned that sometimes this is more unsightly than looking at a tower, depending on the existing landscape.  

Scott Anderson answered more questions from the audience ranging from questions on the RF Engineering Report that was submitted at this evening’s meeting, to possible snowplowing and building maintenance issues.

Josh Loiselle reviewed a document that he put together that addresses the reasons he would like the Planning Board to consider for declining the Verizon Wireless Cell Tower Application.  Due to the length of this document and the detailed information included in it, the Planning Board asked Josh to submit a copy of this document to Maureen Scanlon so that it may be included in their meeting packet of information for them to review before their next meeting on September 10th.  

Paul White reviewed the points discussed during this Public Hearing as being; the strength of the transmissions, the visual impact and whether it is damaging people’s property value, snowplowing, and the tower structure and site design.  

It was noted that this tower will not only provide better cell phone coverage in the Sebago area, but also better data support for wireless computers, etc.

The Public Hearing was closed at 8:45 p.m.

Chairman Paul White called the regular meeting to order at 8:46 p.m.

III     Correspondence – None

IV      Open to Public Questions - None
V       Review of Minutes (July 9, 2013)

Donna Cook made a motion to accept the July 9, 2013 meeting minutes as presented.  It was seconded by Phil Lowe.  Motion carried with all in favor.

VI      Old Business  

a.      Election of Officers

Joe McMahon made a motion to continue on with Paul White acting as the Board Chair and Phil Lowe as the Vice Chair.  It was seconded by Donna Cook.  Motion carried with all in favor.

b.      Site Plan Review (Wireless Telecommunications Facility) –         (Property owned by William Allen) (Applicant is Verizon Wireless) –   Map 12, Lot 5C (Land Lot)

Paul White reviewed some of the items that will need to be completed in order to proceed with this process.  

1.      A Radio Frequency Engineer report will need to be submitted in order to have it reviewed by professionals on the town’s behalf.  

2.      A Visual Impact Analysis which has been a concern brought up tonight.  

Brandon Woolley stated that he just received the report from Faye, Spofford & Thorndike (formally known as DeLuca Hoffman) on the town’s behalf.  The only area of concern is the steep slope portion of the lot.  There were concerns that the twelve foot roadway and associated ditching and filling may not fit within the proposed twenty foot right-of-way.  There was further discussion on the mechanical aspects of the project.

Donna Cook made a motion to “table” this matter until next month in order to review it more in detail once the associated reports have been received.  It was seconded by Joe McMahon.  Motion carried with all in favor.  

c.      Goal Setting Items

1.      Voting Matrix (finalizing process)

No discussion at this time.

2.      Generic Specifications for Hydrant/Fire Pond

No discussion at this time.

3.      Review of Escrow Funds for “Outstanding” Subdivisions

No discussion at this time.

VII     New Business – None

VIII    Adjournment

Tina Vanasse made a motion to adjourn at 9:30 p.m.  It was seconded by Phil Lowe.  Motion carried with all in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,
Maureen F. Scanlon
Administrative Assistant/Deputy Clerk