Summit Daily letters: Verizon cell antenna doesn’t fit in historic Breckenridge
February 14, 2018
Wake up, Breckenridge residents, homeowners and visitors
While you have been sleeping, corporate giant Verizon has been trying to develop a cell phone antenna site in the heart of our historic district, violating the town's express policy of preserving the "unique aesthetic character, beauty, and historic charm" that makes Breckenridge our beloved home.
This serious violation of the policy would have been approved by the Town Planning Commission on January 30 if a couple of us had not gone to the hearing and argued against it. At our urging, four commissioners voted to defer action until its Tuesday, Feb. 20, meeting. Three commissioners were ready to vote for the project.
What, you never heard about this project? That's not surprising. Although the Verizon application was filed in early December, the commission did not provide notice until the week before the hearing. The notice was mailed to owners within 300 feet of the project site, (probably not more than a couple of dozen people) and was posted on the street in relatively unnoticeable places. The commission itself did not see the staff report until two business days before the January 30 hearing.
It is likely that Verizon wanted its application to be rushed through with a minimum of publicity because town law expressly states cell phone antennas "shall be located outside of the conservation district." It also prohibits antennas from being located within 1500 feet of an existing facility. There are existing antennas within 1500 feet. Verizon's loophole-mining lawyers have found an exception to the policy, and claim Verizon has a business need to expand service in the core of the town, that there are no alternate sites, and that the antennas will not have adverse impacts.
These are bogus arguments. The town does not need more antennas. There are alternate sites. And the antennas would have adverse effects on the environment and public health. The historic district is the last place they should be located.
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I urge concerned citizens to show your opposition to the Verizon antenna project by attending the public hearing at Town Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 5:30 p.m., or by sending an email to the Planning Commission: email@example.com. (with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org in case the original gets lost).
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