Share this article

print logo

DESPITE MORATORIUM, PLANNERS TO AIR 3 TOWER PLANS

Despite a 90-day townwide moratorium on communications towers, three of the structures will come before the West Seneca Planning Board Wednesday night.

One is proposed for the Houghton College campus at 910 Union Road even though another applicant was denied a building permit and forbidden to reapply for one year.

"That was Cellular One," said Planning Board Chairman Joseph Ciancio. "That company cannot reapply for a year. This is Sprint Spectrum LP, and there is nothing to forbid that firm from applying."

Sprint Spectrum, another player in the now-widened cellular phone communications game, is seeking all three towers: the one at Houghton College, another 100-foot structure at 923 Seneca Creek Road and a 150-foot tower near the Ismailia Shrine Temple on Southwestern Boulevard.

All three applications were filed with the town building inspector prior to West Seneca's declaring the "breathing space" last month to reconsider its zoning laws.

"Most of these other towns that are calling tower moratoriums don't have tower ordinances," Ciancio said. "We do. We are lucky in that our zoning law allows for towers -- and I plan to stick exactly to that law."

West Seneca allows 100-foot radio towers in industrial zones (the Seneca Creek tower lies in one) with a special-use permit. They are also allowed in R-100 zones with special-use permits.

The 100-foot Houghton tower and the 150-foot Ismailia tower are in R-60 zones, so would need both a special-use permit and rezoning, Ciancio said.

Kenneth Nielsen, vice president for finance at Houghton, said Sprint Spectrum wants to lease several acres of the college's land for the proposed tower -- which would not be used by Houghton, and would not replace the existing tower on the West Seneca campus.

That tower is used by Family Radio, a Christian network affiliated with Houghton, and by PageNet, a paging company, Nielsen said. The tower was used by Houghton as well before the college went to fiber optics.

The proposed Sprint Spectrum tower would be erected on several acres in the back of Houghton's 50-acre West Seneca campus. There are no roads in the section of the campus that Sprint Spectrum wants to lease, Nielsen said.

Ciancio said he was surprised the applications for the three towers had not been forwarded to the planners before the Town Board imposed the moratorium, but added the board's attorney said they were filed in advance of that, so must be heard.

There are no comments - be the first to comment