Proposed tower will support 4G service

Rockport planning board considers additional tower on Ragged Mountain

Camden residents invited to speak at Nov. 13 meeting
By Jenna Lookner | Nov 02, 2012

Rockport — The Rockport Planning Board met Oct. 17 to discuss a preliminary application from Verizon Wireless, represented by Portland-based law firm Verrill Dana L.L.P., for the construction of a 195-foot telecommunications tower near the top of Ragged Mountain.

The proposed lattice tower would be "adjacent to the existing guyed tower at the summit of Ragged Mountain," according to the application. The existing 200-foot telecommunications tower was constructed in 1992 and is supported by guy wires secured to the ground. That tower is presently used by multiple telecommunications carriers, Rockport Planning and Community Development Director Tom Ford said. The proposed new tower will rely on a nearby, existing support building, said Ford. According to Ford, the proposed tower will be used to support 4G service to the region.

Ford explained that Federal Communications Commission regulations and the wireless telecommunications section of the Town of Rockport's zoning ordinance require "co-location" of telecommunications towers. The towers would be accessed by a 20-foot wide access and utility easement that crosses abutting town of Camden property.

The site of the proposed telecommunications tower is a 15 acre parcel of land owned by the communications firm Wavesource LLC, which is headed by Charles Foote III. Ford said the site has been the home of various telecommunications towers and equipment for decades.

Rockport town officials notified Camden officials of the proposal because Camden owns an abutting parcel of land. Members of Camden's select board met Oct. 15 in an executive session to discuss the select board's role, according to Camden Town Manager Patricia Finnigan. The select board decided to invite members of the public to their regluar meeting on Nov. 13 to offer input on the proposed cell tower, she said. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Washington Street conference room; time will be set aside on the agenda for public discussion.

Ford said he anticipates the planning board will revisit the project at their December meeting. In 2006 the Rockport Planning Board approved an application from Verizon Wireless to "expand the existing Verizon Wireless facilities on this parcel," according to a memo distributed to planning board members at the Oct. 17 pre-application meeting.

Courier Publications reporter Jenna Lookner can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at jlookner@courierpublicationsllc.com

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