The community board has voted to stand behind the City Island community against the proposed cell tower that threatens its historic atmosphere.
Following a public hearing on Thursday, September 3, where residents were presented with a proposal by counsel representing T-Mobile Northeast LLC, City Islanders made it apparent this tower is unwanted.
“Its not supposed to be there.Its big business imposing their will on us. The people don’t want it,” said Bill Stanton, president of the City Island Civic Association.“They are looking to bypass current zoning codes for profit, not for the betterment of the people.If they were so impassioned why didn’t T-Mobile come to us before, instead they tried to do it like a sneak in the middle of the night and then they come to us telling us its for our betterment.”
Through an agreement with absentee landlord John Ciafone, the 25-foot tower would be placed on top of 454 City Island Avenue, a building that recently received an ECB violation on Tuesday, September 1.
According to the Department of Buildings, the category 2 violation is for failure to maintain building walls, noting numerous cracks and missing mortar and brickwork.
On Thursday, September 17 Community Board 10 unanimously passed a motion against the cell tower that would hold 6 antennas.The recommendation will be received at the upcoming Board of Standards and Appeals hearing, where T-Mobile will be applying for a special permit to construct the tower above the height allowed by current zoning regulations.
“T-Mobile conducted a survey that never took into consideration any of the consumers living on City Island or anyone else.Essentially it would reach 56 feet in height which violates the City Island Special Zoning district on height, which is limited at 35 feet,” said Ken Kearns, district manager of CB10.“We are opposed to the request because if granted it would overturn 25 years of zoning regulations set up to protect City Island.”
Senator Jeff Klein and Councilman Jimmy Vacca will continue to support residents in helping to prepare them for the BSA hearing, as well as issuing their own statements to the BSA.
“I think the community has a very strong case to make, and I think City Island is a unique community that needs to be protected,” said Vacca.“This is going to come down to the people of City Island versus a faceless telecommunications company, and frankly I like our chances.”
The BSA hearing has yet to be scheduled.