Crown Castle proposes to place 64 Verizon mini-cell towers on or near residential properties. Objecting to noisy and unsightly mini-towers on their lawns and a reduction in the value of their property, over 1,000 residents signed a petition opposing the proposal. Many realtors, homeowners and others have presented evidence of the towers’ detrimental effects to the Mayor and City Council and urged them to work with Crown Castle to find non-residential placements. Throughout most of this process, the Mayor and Council majority have taken an antagonistic approach to the residents.
- December 12, 2016 CBS News: Residents oppose mini-cell tower invasion
- May 19, 2017 Rye City Review: Crown Castle lawsuit
- June 16, 2017 Rye City Review: Crown Castle scoping
- June 30, 2016 Rye City Review: Opinion, Crown Castle mini-towers
- July 12, 2017 Residents’ Crown Castle commentary Items 6 & 7
November 1, 2017 PRRA Statement
You may have received an inflammatory cell tower mailer from the Sack “All Rye” campaign that unfairly attacks Josh Cohn and completely misconstrues Protect Residential Rye’s efforts to prevent Crown Castle from installing 64 mini-cell phone towers throughout residential Rye.
The Protect Residential Rye Association (PRRA) was formed by a group of Rye citizens, including Josh Cohn, who felt that the City (Mayor Sack and some City Council members) was not listening to the concern of homeowners.
- 1,100 signed a petition objecting to Crown Castle’s plan.
- Numerous citizens testifying at the City Council hearings were uniformly against the mini-cell towers. Not once did a single Rye resident testify in support of the mini-cell towers.
- Citizens needed to hire an engineer and a law firm at their own expense to make our voices heard. The City Council refused to organize a citizens’ committee to work with it and the majority of the City Council adopted a defeatist approach.
- Citizens provided the City with essential engineering and legal knowledge – including that siting on municipal property provides the best protection against facility expansion.
- PRRA wants good cell phone service through acceptable means.
The following are the facts intended to correct some of the blatant inaccuracies and set the record straight. If it were not for Josh Cohn, numerous other citizens and PRRA, residential Rye would be inundated today with mini-cell towers near peoples’ homes – often in their yards.
- Had it not been for PRRA, a self-funded citizens group led by Josh Cohn and other concerned Rye residents, the City would have allowed Crown Castle to install the mini-cell towers in our community. Instead, citizens spoke truth to power and ultimately convinced the City Council to stand up to outside corporate interests and protect our citizens. No real alternative plan was, or could be, proposed by citizens, as we are still waiting for sufficient Verizon engineering data.
- A group of citizens (not Josh Cohn alone) made the decision to hire an engineer and illustrate “conceptual alternatives” to the mini-cell towers because otherwise the City was going to decide on the basis that there were no alternatives.
- Of the 1,100 Rye residents who signed PRRA’s petition against the mini-cell towers, many citizens contributed funds to the effort to show the City that alternatives could exist. Josh Cohn is not our greatest financial contributor. Rather, Josh Cohn has contributed an enormous amount of time and energy.
- The citizens’ “conceptual alternatives map”, fashioned without necessary Verizon coverage data, was presented to the City as a starting point for exploration. This would be clear to anyone at the presentation or any reader of the introductory materials. The conceptual alternative map favored siting on municipal properties, which affords the best legal protection against facility expansion.
- The fact that conceptual alternatives were presented prevented the City from deciding on a mistaken “we have no choice basis.” It required the City to think.
- PRRA and numerous engaged citizens, through great effort and cost (including sponsoring legal and engineering advice), have obliged the City to undertake an environmental proceeding in which full consideration of all alternatives is required.