Supervisor BREH offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption:
RESOLUTION REQUESTING APA TO CHANGE POLICY FOR SITING OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWERS
WHEREAS, cell phone service is currently unavailable in many areas of the Adirondacks
WHEREAS, cell phones are an important tool used by emergency response personnel, including forest rangers, police, fire and ambulance services to receive reports of incidents, provide life-saving instructions, and to locate lost or injured people through triangulation or the location feature on their phones; and
WHEREAS, life threatening incidents have occurred in the Adirondacks during which the lack of cell phone and emergency radio service have led to delays in response, and to worse outcomes for the people involved, including deaths; and
WHEREAS, many communities are now calling for the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) cell tower policy to be amended to promote improved cell phone and emergency radio communications; and
WHEREAS, The Adirondack Local Government Review Board and Adirondack region communities have suggested a more flexible standard for tower siting rather than the current APA Standard of “substantially invisible”; now, therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Board of Supervisors hereby requests that the APA Board of Directors review and modify its tower policy and adopt “not readily discernible” as the new standard required for siting, and also consider the following incentives and exceptions for specific sites:
- Encourage vertical collocation of carrier’s antennas, by offering a height incentive of 10 to 15 feet above the tree height.
- Offer general permits for cell carrier antennas on existing tall structures such as water towers, hotels, ski lift towers, church steeples and on government buildings, provided they meet certain specified conditions.
- Allow cellular service carrier antennas of some height, such as 20 feet above existing structures within the APA Hamlet classification.
- Offer a height bonus of 10 to 20 feet above the tree canopy for new towers serving currently unserved areas.
- Add a requirement to its policy that staff and commissioners ask cell tower applicants for information, including a map, showing how a higher tower would expand coverage and benefit residents and travelers, which would enable APA commissioners to weigh the visibility cost against the public safety benefit.
and, be it further
RESOLVED, That certified copies of this Resolution be forwarded to the County Treasurer, Adirondack Park Agency, Adirondack Local Government Review Board, All Adirondack counties, NYSAC, Inter-County Legislative Committee of the Adirondacks, Budget Director/County Auditor, and Administrative Officer/Clerk of the Board.
Seconded by Supervisor FAGAN and adopted by the following vote:
TOTAL: Ayes: 19 Nays: 0 Vacant: 1 (City of Johnstown – Ward 1)