Rep. Shaban and Gov. Malloy hail new cell tower law

cell towerState Rep. John Shaban recently hailed a new law he co-sponsored providing communities statewide with greater influence in the siting of cellular towers.

Mr. Shaban (R-135) was among lawmakers who joined Gov. Dannel Malloy in Branford on Thursday, Aug. 9, for the signing and rollout of the bipartisan Act Concerning the Siting Council (P.A. 12-165) passed during the 2012 legislative session.

“The new law will require the state’s Siting Council to consider local input and matters of significant local concern when reviewing cell tower applications,” said Mr. Shaban, a member of the Environment Committee, in his release. “The council will now give greater weight to aesthetic and environmental impact, local preferences, and the proximity to schools and day care centers.”

The act requires telecommunications tower developers to consult with towns that may be affected by the location of a tower at least 90 days before applying to the Connecticut Siting Council for a certificate approving the location.

According to a press release from the governor, the law requires telecommunications tower developers to consult with towns that may be affected by the location of a tower at least 90 days before applying to the Connecticut Siting Council for a certificate approving the location.

The law also requires that towns be provided with more information concerning why developers are applying for a cell tower in the area, provides towns with more opportunities to offer their own preferences for locations, and allows towns to play an increased role in the council’s hearing process, the governor’s release said.

“We live in a world where wireless technology is becoming an increasingly important component — some might even say a critical component — of our daily lives,” Mr. Malloy said. “The idea behind this bill is not to slow down the process for siting cell towers, but to allow for better input from the community so that we can meet the demand while at the same time take into consideration a number of possible concerns that host communities may have on a given project.”

“It took two tries, but we finally got it done,” Mr. Shaban said.

“Previous regulations offered little flexibility in addressing the concerns of residents impacted by the construction of new or bigger cell towers,” said Mr. Shaban, who represents Weston, Easton, and part of Redding. He agreed with the governor that the new law strikes a better balance between local community concerns and the need to improve connectivity.

“This new law is a solid first step toward increasing local control over the placement of cell towers, while acknowledging the need for improved phone and data capability,” Mr. Shaban said.

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