Verizon tower plan in Clarksburg to try town's new bylaws

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CLARKSBURG — A proposal for a Verizon cell tower at the former North Adams Country Club will test the town's new communications bylaws.

Verizon is asking the Planning Board, which will hear the matter in a meeting on Thursday, for a special permit to construct a 125-foot-tower on a small section of the 8-plus acre River Road property owned by Todd Driscoll.

But the proposal by Verizon, operating as Pittsfield Cellular Telephone Company, will require multiple exceptions from the Planning Board to regulations under Clarksburg's recently approved communications bylaws. Those new rules were passed at the annual town meeting earlier this year.

The proposed tower would be about 35 feet away from the nearest neighbor, but the regulations require a proposed tower to be set back at least 150 percent of its height from the nearest property line. In this case, that's nearly 200 feet.

The tower, which would sit on a 50-by-50-foot fenced-in pad, also exceeds height restrictions set forth under the restrictions.

The property, now known as the Boulder Creek Golf Club, abuts the farm property owned by Bryan Tanner, who believes the tower would lower his property's value.

"There's no question about it. Not only mine but the other property owners that have homes that are closer," Tanner said.

The tower's proposed location is at the corner of the property furthest from Tanner's house, but is still only 35 feet away from the property line.

Driscoll said Verizon had reached out to him more than a year ago and, after testing, strategically positioned the tower where it is because of its high elevation. The tower is expected to provide additional coverage to nearby low-lying areas that are not adequately serviced by the nearby tower atop Florida Mountain.

An attorney representing Verizon did not return a request for comment on Tuesday.

Driscoll said he has not been intricately involved in the application process, but noted the tower would bring tax revenue to the town and be painted a neutral color. He also noted that its height is on the shorter side for a communications tower.

"I figured this would be a real good one for the town because you're going to barely see it," Driscoll said.

The Planning Board meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at Town Hall.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376.


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