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Rockland cell tower review set for Feb. 18

By Stephen Betts | Feb 09, 2020
Photo by: Stephen Betts A 120-foot tower is proposed for 182 Camden St.

Rockland — The appraisal commissioned by the city to determine whether the placement of a communication cell tower on Camden Street will reduce the value of neighboring homes is expected to be completed this week.

This means the Rockland Planning Board will review the proposed tower again at its next meeting Tuesday, Feb. 18.

The appraisal was not expected to be done until March but the city has since been updated on its estimated completion. Rockland contracted with Fred Bucklin of Bucklin Appraisal, LLC of Appleton to conduct the independent analysis.

Bay Communications III LLC wants to erect a 120-foot tall monopole-style communication cell tower at the lot adjacent to the south of Pizza Hut on Camden Street.

Neighbors have voiced strong opposition to the plan, citing concerns about health effects from such towers as well as reduced property values, and aesthetics.

The Planning Board is scheduled to hold a closed-door meeting 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12 to meet with the city attorney to get legal advice prior to its next review of the project.

State law allows a municipal board to meet with its attorney concerning its legal rights. No action can be taken.

The city's attorney, Mary Costigan, issued an opinion late last year that the city's Planning Board cannot consider environmental impacts including on health effects from radio frequency emissions. The attorney said the 1996 Federal Communications Act prohibits local communities from considering this issue.

The Board has held two meetings on the issue but at the last review on Jan. 8, agreed to postpone further reviews until the appraisal was done.

The Bay Communications plan calls for a 6-foot chain-link fence with barbed wire around the base of the tower, which would sit on a 50-by-50-foot clean stone tower pad. The plan was submitted in September.

The lot has been vacant for at least 20 years. Richard and Sherry Thacker of Brunswick had received approvals in 2000 and again in 2005 to build an Arby's Restaurant on the property. The couple never moved ahead with that project.

The Thackers bought the property in 1999 from Agnes Firth, who had operated a small boarding house there. That house has since been demolished.

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Comments (3)
Posted by: Jack S Copp | Feb 10, 2020 08:52

Community, Home, Health, Love. These are the pillars of our lives and are also what makes life worth living. But now, these things are all under assault by AT&T's proposed 120' to 140' cell tower at 182 Camden Street, right next to Pizza Hut. Our Community will be forever changed by the installation of this huge, immovable tower which will be seen from all angles. Our Homes and land will be worth less "up to 20%" and these homes are most folks major asset. Our homes will be less desirable to buyers because of this tower and harder to sell as well. Our health will by all accounts, be degraded by the proximity of this tower to where we live and due to the the long term exposure we and our children will absorb over time. Love, We all love different things but, If You Love your Community, Home, or Health Stand Up and Be Heard! We might only have one chance to stop the building of this tower in our midst. Please Attend: The Rockland Planning Board Meeting on Tuesday February 18th at 5:15 PM. at: Rockland City Hall, 270 Pleasant Street, around back, and express your feelings about this plan. Defend your Community, Homes, Health, and all you Love. P.S. If you can not attend this important meeting and want your words to be heard, Please email Adam Ackor code officer at and leave a comment which WILL be read in the public commentary portion of the meeting. Or call the Rockland Code Enforcement Department at 207-594-0308 8:00 am to 4:30 if you have any questions.

Posted by: Ananur Forma | Feb 09, 2020 14:41

Nobel prize winning scientist & other scientists are sueing FCC for ignoring facts, research done - plenty of it which proves cell towers do indeed cause cancer, insomnia, memory loss, and more. This is BIG news. You can google it and read more about it. it's just like the tobacco companies telling us, " no worries, cigarettes do not cause any health issues." same thing.

Money money money ....can't get enough, so cell companies are moving as fast as possible before the general public learns all the FACTS, which are not good. wake up America!

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Feb 09, 2020 12:33

I would not want this in my backyard! It seems to me that it could be put in another outlying area not specifically general housing.

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