Hempstead, NY Approves Tough Cell Tower Measures

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BELLMORE, NY (1010 WINS / WCBS 880) — After a public hearing, the Town of Hempstead unanimously passed new restrictions on the building of cell phone towers.

New cell towers are now banned within 1,500 feet of a home, a house of worship, a daycare center or a school, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera with the new law details
LISTEN: WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall with worried residents

Claudia Borecky, President of the North Merrick Civic Association, called the move a step in the right direction.

“Because of this code, I will not wake up and see a cell antennae installed on a pole in front of my bedroom window,” Borecky said.

The new legislation also requires applicants proposing new cell towers to provide a report inventorying existing towers and other alternatives within 2 miles of a proposed tower site.

“This new law gives residents real power in the decision making process on cell tower placement,” Town Supervisor Kate Murray said.

Wireless companies are now faced with a hefty number of new restrictions, which some phone companies are not happy about.

Verizon attorney Al Amato warned the decision could make it impossible to build new towers in the area.

“Probably 99 percent of the entire Town of Hempstead — all wireless facilities will be prohibited,” Amato said.

Joe Baker, President of the South Merrick Civic Association, expressed satisfaction with the restrictions, but wanted to see more.

“We’re in favor of this ordinance, but also concerned about the existing antennas that are in front of homes and schools,” Baker said.

Those existing antennas will be exempt under the new laws, Rivera reported.

Legal challenges to the new statutes are expected.

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