Cell Towers do not belong next to residential homes
September 24, 2015
To: Sudbury Zoning Board of Appeals
We, the undersigned residents of Sudbury, hereby petition the Sudbury Zoning Board of Appeals to reject the Special Permit applications (Case 15-33 and Case 15-34) for the proposed wireless communications tower at the site of the Department of Public Works (DPW). We oppose the construction of the 140' tower due to the following concerns:
* Limited assessment of visual impact, due to foliage and wind: Residents have not had the opportunity to assess the visibility of the proposed tower during a month with minimal foliage. We request that a crane test (rather than a balloon test) be conducted for a more accurate representation of the tower's height and visual impact.
* Excessive height for meeting public safety communication needs: Permitting a 140' tower instead of a 100' tower does not further the stated objective of the construction, which is to meet public safety communication needs. A tower with a height of 100' would sufficiently meet any public safety communication needs.
* Adverse effect on property values: Property values in the neighborhoods surrounding the DPW would be adversely affected by the presence of a tower.
* Absence of consideration by the Board of Health: The Board of Health has not formally reviewed the proposal for the tower, nor has it been consulted regarding the requested exceptions to the Zoning Bylaws.
* Residents' health concerns: Some residents are concerned about the long-term effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs), particularly from continuous exposure to a tower with multiple wireless carriers in close proximity to residences. The Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies EMFs as "possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B),” and the World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged that further research into the possible adverse health effects of EMFs is warranted.
* Insufficient evidence of meeting the "West pressure point" demand for wireless coverage: Gaps in coverage in the "West pressure point" of town would not be adequately filled by a DPW site alone, because it is on the eastern margin of the West pressure point. Rather than permit a tower with limited efficacy at the DPW site only to require an additional tower at a second site, the town should permit a single tower in a more effective location or boost the potential of existing facilities.
* Insufficient setback requirement: Sudbury's setback requirement of 125' is not comparable to the setback standards set by surrounding towns (900' in Wayland;
1000’ in Concord). It is unclear how the 125' setback was agreed upon and whether the matter was ever put forth for consideration by residents.
* Absence of evaluation by an independent radiofrequency (RF) engineer: The town has not hired an RF engineer, independent of the wireless carrier, to 1) evaluate current gaps in wireless coverage; and 2) quantify the RF field strength near the tower to ensure that it is within the acceptable range for public health standards.
A 140' wireless communications tower at the DPW site is not in the best interest of Sudbury residents. Please protect our community by rejecting the Special Permit applications.