Updated March, 2010

Milton Zoning Board Votes to Deny Cell Tower: Progress that you can’t see

During the summer of 2009, Green Mountain Communications (GMC) of New Hampshire proposed building a 140-foot cell tower on the triangular parcel of land on the Houghton’s Pond Exit 3 on-ramp to Route 93 South. The site directly abuts the Silver Brook neighborhood and would be seen by neighbors and visitors to Big Blue and Houghton’s and Ponkapoag Ponds. GMC indicated a gap in coverage for cell phone users, estimating that 2 – 3% of calls are dropped; the new tower would address this perceived lack of coverage.

At a June 16th Milton Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) meeting, neighbors and FBH Advocacy Committee members expressed concern that GMC had not adequately considered how the cell tower would impact views from the neighborhood or from the Blue Hills. While the company had conducted a “crane test” (raising a construction crane to simulate the height of the proposed tower) in the winter, neighbors and stakeholders had not been notified. The company agreed to hold a second crane test.

FBH joined neighbors to oppose the cell tower, arguing that while only a few people would lose their calls, tens of thousands of Blue Hills’ visitors would live with the visual results. The proposal also contradicted Milton’s master plan and bylaws. See below for testimony by FBH and others.

After hearing testimony and reviewing GMC’s analysis, the Milton Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously to reject GMC’s proposal. Milton Board members agreed with FBH and the neighbors, questioning the need for the tower and emphasizing the scenic value of the Reservation.

We commend the Milton ZBA for a sound decision that acknowledges the Blue Hills as a timeless treasure that we all need to help preserve.