Yarmouth board OKs cell tower near schools

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YARMOUTH — The Planning Board has approved an application from Verizon Wireless to put a cellular antenna on top of the existing water tower on McCartney Street.

The board unanimously approved the application Sept. 28, despite opposition from members of the public. A group of parents said they plan to attend the Oct. 6 Town Council meeting and express their concerns during the public comment period.

Verizon applied to place the antenna earlier this year and the Planning Board conducted a site walk in June. Members expressed concerns about the location of an equipment enclosure box planned for the base of the tower. In the approved application, Verizon made the box smaller, and moved it closer to the street and further away from two abutting residential properties.

Concerned residents said they are worried about possible health risks posed by the antenna because of its location between the Yarmouth elementary and high schools. According to Town Planner Alex Jaegerman, the antenna will meet the radio frequency wave regulation set by the Federal Communications Commission. 

Jaegerman said Verizon has not yet created a schedule for installing the antenna because there is a 30-day window to file appeals of the board decision.