Allen Sangree 0

Say No to a Cell Tower on the Front Street Floodplain

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Say No to a Cell Tower on the Front Street Floodplain

We, the undersigned residents of Milton, Delaware, call upon Mayor Kanakos and members of the Milton Town Council to stop all action and activity directed toward the construction of a cell phone tower on Front Street. We agree that the town needs improved cell phone service and we support legal, reasonable and creative efforts to make that happen. However, the Front Street location is not the place to build a cell phone tower for many legal, ethical and common sense reasons:

  • Milton Town Code 125-20-A expressly forbids the construction of public utilities in a flood plain. The construction of a cell phone tower in a floodplain is AGAINST THE LAW.
  • The proposed site is within a designated floodway. According to Town Code 125-30, “no encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, or other development shall be permitted” in a floodway “unless it has been demonstrated through hydrologic and hydraulic engineering analysis that the proposed encroachment would not result in any increase in flood levels within the community during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.” Cellco Partners/Verizon have not conducted hydrologic and hydraulic analyses and have not proven that construction of the tower would not result in increased flood levels in the nearby community.
  • Town Code 125-29-E demands that electrical service and mechanical equipment in the floodplain must be “elevated to or above the level of the base flood elevation plus 1.5 feet.” This means that the transformers that normally sit at ground level would have to be elevated several feet in the air if the cell tower were approved for the Front Street location. This would violate the town code that prohibits “the intrusion of any use which is not compatible with this predominant type.”
  • Construction of a cell tower and footings in the floodplain could jeopardize the Town’s participation in federal flood insurance programs.
  • Milton Town Code specifies that only “minor” antennae are permitted in an R-1 zoned area. A “minor” antenna is defined as 40-feet and smaller. The proposed 145’ Verizon tower exceeds this legal limit by 105’ or 275%.
  • Cellco Partners/Verizon failed to consider other legal, more sensible and less destructive locations for the tower.
  • The proposed tower stands in opposition to the Comprehensive Plan’s goal to create a Front Street a “gateway” to the town.
  • It undermines the Comprehensive Plan’s goal to improve access and views of the river.
  • It undermines the Comprehensive Plan’s goal to expand the downtown commercial district.
  • It will loom over the town’s oldest homes and undermine the community’s expressed desire to protect the character of the historic district

For these and many other reasons, it is the ethical, legal and role-mandated responsibility for the Mayor and Town Council to stop the construction of a cell tower in the Front Street floodplain.

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