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Bedford zoning board denies cell tower rehearing

BEDFORD — The zoning board has denied a request by several Greenfield Farms residents seeking a rehearing on a recently approved Verizon Wireless cell tower along Wallace Road.

In September, zoning officials granted a special exception to install a telecommunications facility inside of a silo on farmland at 5 Wallace Road, and to construct a replacement silo that will camouflage the antenna equipment.

Four couples residing on Summit Road within the Greenfield Farms development have sought legal counsel and are challenging the zoning board’s approval of the cell tower.

Attorneys Stephen Bennett and Michael Tierney are representing the families, including Stephen and Kerri Crowley, Michael and Karen Sorvillo, Sampath and Madhu Deva and Balaji and Malini Adikesavelu.

They have asked the board for a rehearing on the application, and have asked that the board deny the request by Verizon. They claim that the board erred when it permitted Kevin Duhaime, an alternate member of the board, to vote on the application since he resides in Greenfield Farms and has an alleged conflict of interest.

“Mr. Duhaime and other residents of the Greenfield Farms subdivision stand to gain better wireless reception at his home, or to suffer the impacts of a new, taller silo and the noise associated with a cell tower facility. Either way, the residents of the Greenfield Farms subdivision have a different stake in the outcome of this matter than do other residents of the town of Bedford,” the attorneys wrote in a letter to the zoning board.

They also claim that the board was at fault when it concluded that Verizon’s proposed tower would fill an existing gap in coverage, and that it erred when it failed to consider the noise generated by the cell tower equipment, among other claims.

Last week, the zoning board denied the requested rehearing.

“The board took multiple months of testimony from all sides on this matter. Many experts were utilized during the process,” said John Morin, chairman of the board. “I have seen no new evidence that shows this board erred in any way. On the contrary, this board took our time and went through every piece to make sure it met the requirements.”

Although the zoning board has already granted approval, the planning board will be reviewing the application next week to consider a final landscaping plan and construction materials for the new silo.

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