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Irving Snow and Message Center Management (MCM) are preparing to submit an application to build a 161 foot cell tower on his property at 550 Sport Hill Road in Easton. This structure will dramatically and irrevocably alter the beauty and character of Easton. Every individual who drives up Sport Hill Road will see this cell tower. Every potential homeowner has to decide if they would like to live in a town whose beauty is marred by an inappropriate blot on the landscape.

A group of Easton citizens has come together and founded a group called “The Sport Hill Coalition Against The Cell Tower.” We are  leading an opposition against any tower on Snow’s Farm and need your support! We have created this site as an information resource so that every Easton citizen can stay up to date. The site will also serve as a tool for citizens who want to join our effort and take action.

To be clear our group is NOT against enhancing cell coverage in our town. We do understand that many people in Easton DO want better coverage. We are simply against the placement of an ugly tower on Snow’s Farms as it will destroy visual integrity of our town. The proposed cell tower will service primarily the area around Sport Hill Road and even its proponents acknowledge more towers will need to be built to provide adequate coverage elsewhere.  The cell tower proposed for Snow’s Farm will be an eyesore seen by each Easton resident driving up or down Sport Hill Road, visiting the General Store or Silverman’s Farm. Its shadow will loom over the children playing with the animals at the Silverman’s petting zoo. Its presence will be noticed by every visitor who comes to the Carnival, pumpkin patch or Christmas Tree picking. We cannot allow this tower to be built!

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Congressman Jim Himes Adds His Support

Below is a letter from Congressman Jim Himes.

Download the letter here

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9 Reasons to oppose a cell tower on Snow’s Farm

1. Easton has no commercial development

The town of Easton has no commercial development or industrial area and is entirely dependent upon its rural, agricultural and historic tourist appeal for its economy.  It is often said that no one moves to Easton for convenience or for that matter seamless cell phone coverage.  There are no markets, banks, cleaners or ice cream stores.  A cell tower in the center of Easton is incompatible with the town.

2.  Easton is a farming community

There are 22 farms in Easton catering to the public in the form of pick-your-own orchards, herb farms and Christmas tree farms.  In fact, the Christmas tree that was chosen for Rockefeller Center in New York City came from a private residence in Easton.  15,000 people purchased Christmas trees from Maple Row Tree Farm this year and traveled on Sport Hill Road past Snows Farm.  Farming is the heritage and culture of Easton.  The proposed cell tower will destroy an historic farm and part of the Town’s heritage.

3.  Snows Dairy Farm is an historic site

Snows Dairy Farm, where the proposed cell tower will be sited, is an historic farm which has been in existence since 1912.

4.  Neighboring farms will be harmed by cellular tower

Next door to Snows Dairy Farm are two other farms.  On one side is Silverman’s Farm which was founded in the 1920’s and has apple picking in the fall; sells Christmas trees in the winter; and has a children’s petting zoo. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people visit Silverman’s Farm each year.  On the other side of Snows Farm is Sport Hill Farm which is a community supported agricultural farm (“CSA”). Both neighboring farms which are dependent upon tourism will be harmed since a looming cell tower will belie the rural  and agrarian values the two farms represent.

5.  State of Connecticut invested to preserve Easton

Ten years ago, the state of Connecticut spent $90 million to purchase 19,000 acres of watershed land from the former Bridgeport Hydraulic Co. (now Aquarion).  5,000 of these acres are in the town of Easton.

6.  Easton is the guardian of the water supply of Fairfield County

Easton is the guardian of two major reservoirs which provide clean drinking water to much of Fairfield County.  Much of Easton including Snows Farm Dairy is “on the watershed”.  As such, Easton is obligated to maintain a pristine water supply.  We are well aware that generators which are contained in the bases of cell phone towers must be maintained at a steady temperature of 77 degrees.  This temperature requirement is often compromised by poor maintenance or insufficient power due to power outages.  Improperly maintained generators have been known to break down, and leak fluids into the ground thereby polluting underground water supplies. Accordingly, the entire water supply of lower Fairfield County is being jeopardized by this potential hazard.

7.  Sport Hill Road is an historic road

Sport Hill Road, formerly known as Jackson Pike, was the site of road races which took place at the turn of the last century.  Within a half mile of Snows Farm is DuPont’s 30-acre open meadow, a former farm.  This farm is being deeded to the Aspetuck Land Trust.

8.  The proposed tower is “poorly sited (per Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s letter of December 17, 2009)

Easton is a farming community.  Visitors to Easton buy farm products at its farms traveling by way of Sport Hill Road.  It is the key corridor in the town.  Every person traveling through Easton will see this monstrosity.  Sport Hill Road is effectively a community center for Easton.  Within a thousand feet of this proposed tower is the location of the fireman’s carnival which has been held annually since 1937.  The land at Snows Farm is flat and no trees will provide cover for the tower.

9.  There are two existing cell towers in Easton

Easton already has two existing cell towers.  One is on a former town dump on North Street and one is on a farm on Everett Road.  Since one farm in Easton already has a cell tower located on it, we believe it would be inappropriate to deface another farm in this farming community.

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MCM Says It Will Still Apply On or After 1/4/10

The following is cut and pasted from a letter, which citizens on Hickory Knoll Drive received this week. Despite our strong opposition, MCM and their lawyers at Cuddy & Feder, appear to be moving forward with their application. We must act now. Sign our petition and take action.

We are writing to you on behalf ofour client Message Center Management with respect to the above referenced matter and our client’s intent to file, sometime on or after January 4,2010, an application with the State of Connecticut Siting Council for approval of a proposed wireless communications tower facility (the “Facility”) within the Town of Easton. State law requires that owners of record of property that abut a parcel on which a Facility is proposed be sent notice of an applicant’s intent to file an application. This notice is being sent to you m advance and in accordance with state law.

The Facility is being proposed to allow FCC licensed wireless carriers to provide their services in this area of Easton. Once filed, the Application and its contents wlll explam the need purpose and benefits ofthe Facility, any potential alternatives and also describe the potential environmental impacts ofthe proposed Facility. The property which is the subject of this notice and being considered for the proposed wireless telecommunications facility is located at 550-560 Sport Hill Road/State Route 59 also known as Snow’s Dairy Farm. The applicant proposes to construct one Facility and has proposerl two alternate lo<:ations for the Facility.

The Alternative “A” Facility would consist of a 160′ self-supporting monopole and gravel compound designed to accommodate the equipment building/shelters of several wireless carriers. The tower would be capable of accommodating panel and other antennas on low profile platforms. The tower and equipment would be enclosed by a chain-link security fence and gate. Vehicle access and utilities to the tower compound would extend from Sport Hill Road (Route 59) along an access drive to the compound location in the northern section ofthe parcel near existing barns.

(Image above is a photo simulation of what the tower at “Site A” would look like as viewed from Sport Hill Road. This image was not included in this letter, but was part of the report, which is located at Town Hall).

The Alternative “B” Facility would consist of a 160′ self-supporting monopole and gravel compound, enclosed by a ehain-link security fence and gate, designed to accommodate the equipment building/shelters of several wireless carriers and would be capable of accommodating panel and other antennas on low profile platforms. Vehicle access and utilities to the tower compound would extend from Sport Hill Road (Route 59) along an access drive on the Snow’s Dairy Faml property, continue over the property of Amell & Philip L. Snow and enter once again onto the Snow’s Dairy Farm parcel where it would proceed to the compound location in the southern section ofthe host parcel near a cleared area ofthe property.

(Image above is a photo simulation of what the tower at “Site B” would look like as viewed from Sport Hill Road.  This image was not included in this letter, but was part of the report, which is located at Town Hall).

The proposed Alternative A and B facilities have been the subject of municipal consultation with the Town of Easton Board of Selectmen and Town of Easton Planning Zoning Commission. Any suggestions regarding revised compound locations on the host property, alternative tower structures and/or other features of the proposed facilities that may be made by such agencies may be incorporated into the Facility design as part of the application process. Additionally, the location, height, and other features of the Facility are subject to review and potential change under provisions ofthe Connecticut General Statutes Sections 16-50g et. seq.

If you have any questions concerning this matter, please do not hesitate to contact the Connecticut Siting Councilor the undersigned after January 4,2009, the date after which the application is expected to be on file with the Council.

Very truly yours,

Christopher B. Fisher

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