BOE Opposes Proposed Site of Telecommunications Tower

(The following letter was sent to the New York State Department of Transportation as well as several elected officials regarding the proposed Telecommunications Tower on land across the street from Ingalls Field.)

Mr. Terrance Donoghue

New York State Department of Transportation, Region 8

50 Wolf Road

Albany, New York 12232

Re: Proposed Telecommunications Facility on Lands East of Hutchinson River Parkway Exit 9 at East Sandford Blvd., Village of Pelham

Dear Mr. Donoghue:

On behalf of the Pelham Board of Education and the Pelham Union Free School District, we are writing to acknowledge receipt of your August 13, 2018 letter to Village of Pelham Mayor Michael J. Volpe regarding the proposed installation of a 130-foot monopole on DOT land located just east of the Hutchinson River Parkway Exit 9 at East Sandford Boulevard.

We oppose the chosen location, which is in very close proximity to our Middle School and High School, for a variety of reasons. Specifically, we believe this monopole would be a safety risk for our 1,600 students as well as our staff. Unlike other districts, Pelham students do not take buses to school, meaning that the majority of them walk in large groups of students, crossing the very intersection nearest to the proposed site. This intersection is already extremely busy and dangerous, as it also serves as a pedestrian route to the Glover Field Sports Complex on E. Sandford Boulevard. The installation of such a large telecommunications facility would be an increased hazard for our students, especially during construction and servicing. Putting such a tall monopole so close to school buildings and playing fields could also introduce other safety concerns to students, staff and residents.

Secondly, there is a severe lack of green space in our community and construction of the monopole would represent a further reduction of this space that is valued by our residents. Situated across from one of our main athletic fields and across the street from the Pelham Public Library, the proposed project would undoubtedly create an eyesore for residents and visitors to our town.

Additionally, the proposed facility far surpasses the height of any existing structure in the community and exceeds maximum height restrictions listed in Village regulations. Not only will our students pass this structure daily, it will be invasively noticeable to all neighbors in the surrounding areas on all sides of the PMHS/PMS complex and on many surrounding streets. This industrial look is contrary to the aesthetic of our community and one that our residents moved to Pelham to avoid.

As a Board we are hard pressed to believe there are no other suitable locations for this project. The schools are the heart of our small community and this structure will clearly have a negative impact. We share the opinion of Mayor Volpe, as well as Mayor Jennifer Monachino Lapey of Pelham Manor, that this is an unsatisfactory and inappropriate location for the monopole and urge you to reconsider. We are aware that Mayor Volpe has invited you to come to an upcoming Village Board Meeting. We plan to attend this meeting once scheduled to hear how you will address the concerns stated by both villages and the school district and we will encourage members of our school community to do the same.  We look forward to working with you on finding a more viable and suitable site for this facility.

Sincerely,  

Sue Bratone Childs, Board of Education President

Jessica DeDomenico, Board of Education Vice President

Cheryl H. Champ, Ed. D., Superintendent of Schools

John Brice, Board of Education Trustee

Peter S. Liaskos, Board of Education Trustee

Vincent Mazzaro, Board of Education Trustee

Eileen Miller, Board of Education Trustee

Jessica R. Young, Board of Education Trustee

cc: Assemblywoman Amy Paulin

Senator Jeffrey D. Klein

Mayor Michael J. Volpe, Village of Pelham

Mayor Jennifer Monachino Lapey, Village of Pelham Manor

Supervisor Peter DiPaola, Town of Pelham

Paul A. Karas, Acting Commissioner, New York State Department of Transportation

Lance MacMillan, P.E., Director, New York State Department of Transportation, Region 8

Kayla Biltucci, New York State Department of Transportation, Main Office Right-of-Way

Charles White, Director of Communications, New York State Police