20 thoughts on “Cell Tower Developer: ‘There Is Some Urgency’ with West School Proposal

  1. Probably another opportunity for 5 people in town to stop progress. I have lived on the West side very close to West School for over 20 years and cell service has never been very good and seems to be deteriorating. I applaud any effort to bring New Canaan into the internet era. I would guess that we are at least 10 years away from 5G.

    Ps what is the status of bringing fiber optics to New Canaan?

    • Henry: Fiber optic service from Optimum is currently offered in New Canaan. Last time I did a spot check it was available in more than half of our streets. We’ve had it in our home for two years and it’s awesome.

  2. Fiber has no ROI in the 2-acre and 4-acre zones. That is why it is unlikely we will ever see fiber. We stand a better chance with 5G and future 6G.

  3. “I don’t care what the facts say….the perception alone is that they’re not safe for children.” This is the very problem facing our country and our town: I don’t want it, because I don’t want it. No rational reason, just a perception that there’s something “underhanded” going on. The greater good of New Canaan will be served by this safe improvement in our communications. I hope it won’t be scuttled by baseless fear.

  4. Let me guess – maybe Henry and Ben are well past the age of having children in West School? If either of you gentleman, or anyone else, thinks the facts are as Ray Vergati says they are – then you don’t like to use Google. There has never been any research study that proves consistent, high powered radio frequency is harmless to children. Read it again – no one has proven this is safe. Thats why you will not find cell towers by elementary schools in towns like Darien and Westport. They’ve done the research and they don’t allow it. In fact, nearly all the evidence out there suggests that children developing bodies (skulls) cannot handle the same level of radio frequency that adults can, or even teenagers. The fact is that this isn’t five people opposed to a tower, it’s the better part of the parents at the entire school, as well as many residents of Arrowhead Trl. and Winfield Ln.
    What’s wrong with our country, or in this case our town, isn’t that people don’t want to accept the facts – it’s that people ignore them until it suits their best interests.

  5. If you are concerned about cell phone towers in your area of town then you probably should not have your children using the Waveny athletic fields or the town pool. In case you have not noticed , the giant water tower in the middle of Waveny doubles as a cell phone tower.

    • The cancer risk for young children, the one that’s been proven in multiple studies…


      …is associated with consistent, long term exposure. Not playing soccer for an hour in a field once a week. Maybe something more like, sitting in your Kindergarten classroom for six to seven hours a day? Reading the above link, and reading the associated studies – if you still had a five year old in your home – would you be excited to send them to a school with an 115 ft tower above it? Or might you be cautious, because the safety of our children comes first?

  6. I am a resident of this town. I have been a resident of other towns. Open Enrollment is what they call it when a resident can send their child to whichever school in town they choose. New Canaan has geographic mapping deciding which school children will attend. If I were moving to New Canaan for the schools, would I choose to live in a part of town that puts my children in the only elementary school with a cell tower? Our property values are subject to great reduction if that occurs.
    The timing of this lease approval is suspect. When I asked what would happen if the tower did not get approved and the lease had been granted, there was no concrete answer. Where is the transparency? Why are these negotiations going on between one town official and a corporate entity that stands to make millions if the project is approved. If you go to Homeland Towers website, 769 Ponus Ridge and Irwin Park are already listed. Why didn’t they write West School on their website?
    Do I have a cell phone? Yes. Have I tried to use it in an emergency and not been able to call 911? Yes. In a town in Massachusetts with excellent cell coverage. We need to some up with more town friendly options but the course toward giant cell towers looming over neighborhoods has been made for us. We have no choice but to become activists.

  7. I am a resident of New Canaan. The 1837 Ponus Cell Tower is siting several hundred feet from my home with I’ve lived for almost 10 years with our 4 young children. We DO NOT want a 115″ monopine looming over our home. My children also attend West Elementary School. This is a nightmare when one lands in your backyard or at your children’s school. We’ve had to spend thousands of dollars to try to fight this. Our first Selectman hired Homeland Towers and is attempting to quickly erect as many of these towers as possible. There is little to no transparency. There are shady secretive LLCs, such as our next door “neighbor” namely 1837 LLC at 1837 Ponus Ridge, buying properties and accepting millions of dollars to host cell towers in residential neighborhoods for profit. It’s devastating to the neighbors who have little recourse once Homeland Towers files with the CT Siting Council. Based on the work of our experts, we believe there is a better way to provide cell coverage and communications for first responders – ways that don’t include 115ft monopines with massive construction, demolition, environmental damages, noise, risk of fire, radiation, and pollution of water. Cell service did not improve much after Soundview/Richey with its 85ft tower. The reality of our topography and distance between neighbors makes it such that each tower only benefits a few hundred people at a time. Thus, more towers are needed. Town needs to do a better job of finding alternative technologies and sites. Commercial sites should be prioritized so that neighborhood values are not destroyed. In our very extensive and thus expensive effort to fight the Nissley Tower at 1837 Ponus Ridge, we have spent a lot of money on experts who have found other technologies and alternatives that can easily provide the fire and police the service they want while also attracting commercial carriers. There are also many different types of antennas (for example some can be disguised as very attractive American flag poles) and, real dollars need to be spent to plant mature trees to make the antennas invisible to the surroundings (as opposed to the minimal effort being proposed at the Ponus Ridge site). If this is about safety, there should be no profit motive allowed for one neighbor at the cost of another. Our town can do better!

  8. I have two kids at West. I do not want them sitting under a cell tower all day every day for years to come. I am shocked the schools would even be targeted for such placement. I agree we need better service but I think we can and should find a better location than our elementary schools.

  9. My comment disappeared. Do you approve before posting? If it contained information that cannot be posted can you please let me know? Thank you

    • Hi Jamie, I just approved your comment. Each comment that is submitted needs to be approved by me. I see you posted it yesterday morning but didn’t get around to clearing the comment queue until now — sorry for the delay, been busy with lots of stuff here this week. Thank you. -Mike

  10. My family moved to New Canaan last July specifically for its schools, which are rated #1 in CT by Niche.com. I’ve seen teachers and staff step up for this community during a pandemic with courage and heart. They show up at school while politicians fight over common sense gun laws. There is scientific evidence that radio-frequency radiation is harmful to young children. A community in Rippon, Calif. that had a cell phone tower installed near one of its elementary schools “mysteriously” had 4 cases of rare cancer develop in its student population. Our kids, teachers and school staff deserve better. A cell tower at West or near any school does not make sense. There should be alternative locations or technologies explored and the community deserves a chance to discuss and debate this important issue.

  11. I wonder how many of these parents actually monitor their childrens’ cell phone usage or prevent them from sleeping with a phone under the pillow. There’s arguably more harmful radiation from the proximity of the cell phone than the proximity of the cell phone tower.

    • Good point – it’s indeed worse. But one would have to wonder how many five year olds have their own cell phones, right? Six year olds? I don’t think most do. The argument here isn’t against the towers’ proximity from all schools – it’s their proximity from elementary schools. That’s the issue.

  12. Funny coincidence I’m sure that the large vacant building lots on Frogtown Road that nobody wants because of no cell service are owned by Arnold Karp as well as the crime scene on Welles Lane off of Frogtown where Karp’s daughter lives. Is this another favor that Moynihan is doing for his buddy Arnold? Once there is cell service I suppose a 5 story development will be going up there too. Who would buy a $2 million condo with no cell service?

  13. I am a resident of New Canaan with 3 young children at West Elementary. I cannot believe our elementary school is being considered for a cell tower. I am completely and utterly shocked, saddened and angry. Take the time to google cell tower and elementary school and let me know if you still think it is a good idea. The fact that a tower could at all be harmful, even if ultimately proven not, makes this proposition an obvious non-starter. If there was a cell tower at West when we were looking at properties, I would have NEVER considered buying a home here. So for those who no longer have elementary-aged kids and have conveniently decided to ignore this proposal, think about that. I am not alone; most families do not want a tower looming over their young children. This will definitely affect your property value.

    Also, what about our teachers? Has anyone taken the time to see if they want to be working near a cell tower? Our schools’ success depends on our ability to attract and retain talented teachers.
    Regarding the towers being put on private property, just think for a minute if that was your neighborhood. How would you feel if your property value plummeted overnight? It is easy to ignore when it is not you. I’ve been guilty of this myself.

    Lastly, it is really so bad to not have perfect cellular coverage in every part of this town? There was a time not too long ago when we had moments of being turned off. We survived, and some would argue, we were better off.

  14. I feel so personally conflicted reading articles about improving cell coverage in New Canaan. We all recognize our coverage/service needs improvement, for safety reasons in particular, but obviously no one wants it in their back yard. And I’m willing to bet a majority of families of the ~450 West Elementary School (and preschool) children certainly don’t want them exposed to emissions from a tower 7 hrs a day for 5-6 academic years (vs. a park where people spend a few hours each week or less) Reading the above articles and comments leaves me wondering what our town has done to explore the non-monopine options that so frequently come up in these arguments, and why those aren’t being explored. If it’s a financial issue, how does the associated cost weigh against the potential tax loss from lower property values experienced by those in proximity to West School and potentially the West district as a whole? These issues aside, why is this coming up with a 2-week deadline in the middle of summer? Are other big town decisions made this way?

  15. We can all agree there is not yet enough research on the health implications of cell phones and cell towers to have a clear picture. Much like cigarettes, it will likely be too late once our society understands what these EMFs actually do to our bodies in the long term. Why would we put our young children at such substantial risk? One fact is certain: EMFs are not good for us.

    Is there really no other public space or highway rest stop where this tower can be built? Can the all the brilliant minds in New Canaan not find a better solution than West School?

    It is the role of our government to keep our residents (particularly children) safe from harm. This harm may be inadvertent, but it is imminent.

  16. Do you have a wireless WIFI network in your house with young children? Does West School have a wireless network. They also emit EMF’s. Since it’s a newer technology there is even less data points on health concerns.

Leave a Reply

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