Yarmouth water tower lawsuit awaits judge's ruling

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YARMOUTH — The legal beat goes on for two residents challenging a September 2016 Planning Board decision that would allow Verizon Wireless to install an antenna on a town water tower.

Cumberland County Superior Court Judge Thomas D. Warren denied a request in March by Verizon to dismiss the case brought by Leora Rabin and Frederick Olson.

Rabin and Olson live near the water tower that looms above McCartney Street and Glen Road.

The plaintiffs’ appeal to stop Verizon’s application notes a 2001 application to the Planning Board by Sprint that failed, because it did not meet the town’s ordinance requirements.

“This site is right in the middle of town, in the midst of a residential neighborhood and very near to the Yarmouth Schools,” Rabin and Olson said in a letter.

According to court documents, Rabin and Olson allege that the town did not follow its own ordinances when the Planning Board conditionally approved Verizon’s application. The antenna would service wireless telecommunication needs.

Now, the judge will determine if parties in the case need to argue in court.

“We’ll see how the court rules,” Nathaniel Bessey, attorney for the plaintiffs, said Tuesday. Bessey works for Lewiston-based Brann & Isaacson.

Portland law firm Bernstein Shur represents the town, while Verrill Dana represents Verizon. The town is relying primarily on the company to defend the Planning Board’s decision, said Planning and Development Director Alexander Jaegerman.

The McCartney Street/Glen Road water tower, one of two in Yarmouth, is 100 feet tall and 42 feet in diameter. It holds a million gallons of water, according to Water District Superintendent Bob MacKinnon.

Rabin and Olson are concerned about the equipment proposed not just by Verizon, but any telecommunication companies seeking to install an antenna on the water tower.

Bessey noted their concerns in an email sent Tuesday.

“As the Planning Board found in 2001, ‘the size and configuration of the lot on which the water tower is located and upon which equipment is located is too small in area and too narrow in width and therefore too constrained for ‘adverse impacts’ of the proposed equipment installation on the ground to be adequately minimized,'” he said.

Lisa D. Connell can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 183 or lconnell@theforecaster.net. Follow Lisa on Twitter: connell_ld.

Yarmouth plaintiffs Leora Rabin and Frederick Olson maintain the town’s Planning Board did not scrutinize in September 2016 an application by Verizon Wireless to place an antenna on the town’s water tower.