CB5 rejects Maspeth cell antenna
by Daniel Bush
Nov 24, 2009 | 3882 views | 0 0 comments | 79 79 recommendations | email to a friend | print
53-00 65th Place in Maspeth, where Metro PCS hopes to install another antenna network.
53-00 65th Place in Maspeth, where Metro PCS hopes to install another antenna network.
Community Board 5 voted November 18 to reject Metro PCS’s application for a special permit to install a new cell antenna network on top of 53-00 65th Place in Maspeth.

The Dallas-based cell phone service provider is hoping to bridge a small coverage gap in wireless service with the antenna system. The company has six other antenna locations around Maspeth, and would join three other wireless providers who operate antennas on the roof of the 65th Street building.

In voting down the proposal, board members said three is more than enough.

The board’s Land Use Committee Chairman, Walter Sanchez, this paper’s publisher, said an additional antenna poses health and safety risks.

“There’s no real evidence that there aren’t health risks when these antennas are clustered together,” Sanchez said.

He also cited a fire report from a blaze at the site in 2008, which found that the tangle of wireless equipment on the roof hampered the firefighting operation.

“I’m more than thrilled with the vote but I understand that we’re not done yet,” said Susan Kohl, who has lived in the building all her life.

The special permit application now moves to Borough President Helen Marshall’s office, after which it goes to the Board of Standards and Appeals for a final decision.

“They’re not going to go away quickly,” said Kohl of Metro PCS, which was unavailable for comment. “We need to make sure that we finish them off.”

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