At the Jan. 24 Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice gave a brief update on the proposed Verizon cell tower to be located on the school bus depot property at 180 School Rd., opposite Middlebrook School.

Vanderslice noted that a final report has been issued with the findings from a second visual impact test that was conducted on Dec. 2, following pressure from nearby residents who believed the proposed tower would be more visible than Verizon initially represented.

In the Dec. 2 test, Verizon acceded to residents’ requests to assess the 123-foot tower’s visibility from their individual properties, and included an alternate location on the eastern side of the bus depot property that all parties hoped would minimize the impact on neighbors. 

The latest report was prepared by All-Points Technology Corporation and includes extensive viewshed analysis, detailed photos from the Dec. 2 test, and numerous photo simulations. It is posted on the Town website and was also emailed directly to affected residents.

Vanderslice did not discuss the specific findings in the report but said Verizon would appear at the next BOS meeting and was expected to present two site plan options.

Overall Findings

GOOD Morning Wilton reviewed the report, which made the following key conclusions:

“The results of the viewshed modeling and crane test photographs demonstrate that the Facility’s visibility would be restricted to a small geographic area. The proposed camouflage design, combined with its relatively low height and surrounding mature hardwoods and conifers will assist in limiting the Facility’s visibility to neighboring locations. The proposed monopine design is appropriate in this setting and would soften views of the Facility, particularly from residential properties to the north and south.”

The findings emphasize that just 1% of the 8,042-acre study area would have any visibility of the proposed tower, and nearly half of that visibility is on Town-owned property.

The report goes into detail on 50 specific locations across the two-mile study area, judging the visibility of each location as either “seasonal,” “year-round,” or “not visible.”

For locations with expected visibility, the report also shows a “proposed” view, with a simulation of the “monopine” tower (a monopole cell tower designed to resemble a pine tree). Two examples of the simulated views from nearby residential properties are shown below:

Simulated, year-round view from 15 Richdale Rd. property Credit: All Points Technology Corp./Verizon
Simulated, seasonal view from 87 Catalpa Rd. property Credit: All Points Technology Corp./Verizon

Detailed Findings

The report makes the following detailed description of the visibility impacts, emphasizing that overall visibility is limited throughout the area.

Year-round:

  • “Year-round visibility of the Facility would be primarily limited to areas of the Host Property and over portions of additional Town-owned property south of School Road. Year-round visibility also would extend up to approximately 0.55-mile to the northwest in the Turner Ridge area (see Photos 49 and 50 as examples) and over portions of the Rolling Hills Country Club and Ambler Farm (see Photo 11) over one mile away to the northeast.”
  • “Predicted year-round visibility (±12 acres) is limited generally to within 0.25-mile of the Site, half of which occurs on Town-owned property, including the Middlebrook School (see Photos 34 and 35, which provide representative views from these locations).”

Seasonal:

  • “Seasonal visibility, when leaves are off the deciduous trees, would occur within 0.5-mile of the Site (see Photo 18 for a representative example). Seasonal visibility will extend to the north of the site throughout residential properties, primarily along Catalpa Road. Seasonal visibility is also anticipated along portions of Pimpewaug Road near the intersection with Danbury Road, and along Danbury and Ridgefield Roads in the vicinity of the Wilton Train Station at distances up to approximately 0.75-mile.”
  • “Similar to the predicted year-round visibility, a large portion of the predicted seasonal visibility (±33.7 acres, or ±43.76%) would occur on Town property.”

Combined seasonal and year-round:

  • “The combined predicted visibility associated with the proposed Facility could extend up to ±89 acres, or ±1.1% of the 8,042-acre Study Area. Nearly half of the combined predicted visibility, approximately 43.8% (±39 acres) occurs on Town-owned properties.”

Join the Conversation

6 Comments

  1. I am coming late to this but have the health effects been considered, having the tower so close to the school? There are mixed reports about the effects of cell towers, mostly not good, but not a risk I would want to take. Is there not a location further away from our children?

    1. There were some health/safety questions raised by residents at the Nov. 2 public information session. The session was recorded and the video was posted on the town website. The Verizon team generally referred to FCC safety standards in response to those questions, but you can see their full responses on the video. First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice also mentioned that there is a cell tower that has been located near Miller-Driscoll for many years, not linked to any issues. Lastly, I would call your attention to the report mentioned in this story. There is a section in the report that cites the distances from the proposed tower to nearby schools and child care centers, and notes they are beyond the minimum 250′ range.

  2. Great point Candice! Has anyone looked at this? Health risks need to be taken into serious consideration.

  3. Rather than what can be SEEN of the Verizon tower, how far does the radio frequency radiation field extend, particularly in reference to the schools where children attend all day?

  4. From the American Cancer Society, who takes this stuff seriously: “ At this time, there’s no strong evidence that exposure to RF waves from cell phone towers causes any noticeable health effects”

    Candice can you provide peer reviewed studies finding the contrary?

  5. Please build the tower, it would be great to have cell reception around my house. The health concerns have no scientific backing and the aesthetic concerns seem very minor.

Leave a comment
GMW requires all commenters to use full, real, verifiable names and emails. Comments with pseudonyms, no last names, initials only, etc. will not be approved. Comment approval may take up to 24 hours. Email addresses will not be published.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.