Town Officials Push for Studies, Survey Prior to Decisions on West School Cell Tower

The town is preparing to hire consultants to provide two studies to help municipal officials determine whether to move forward with a widely discussed plan to erect a cell tower behind West School. Following recommendations that the Planning & Zoning Commission made during an Oct. 24 special meeting, the town is to get “independent” studies to establish cell phone needs in the area and the degree of health risk that a tower 900 feet behind West School (and 600 feet from its playing fields) will have to children there. It’s unclear which consulting firms will be hired to carry out the assessments. 

Regarding the coverage study, Selectman Williams last week tried to pin down First Selectman Kevin Moynihan about whether the Town Council or Board of Selectmen would make the decision, but Moynihan said only that he planned to ask a firm hired in the past—Centerline—“to update their report.”

When Williams suggested a firm other than Centerline do the independent study, Moyinhan said, “Centerline is independent” and that he has “no reason to think they’re not independent,” though if the Town Council feels otherwise, “we can take a different direction.”

Though several members of P&Z voiced opposition to locating a cell tower on school grounds, they narrowed the scope of their referral on Oct. 24 to whether or not the proposed infrastructure is consistent with a continuously updated document that guides planning in New Canaan—the Plan of Conservation and Development—and found that it does.