Two Juniper Park Civic Association Board Members, Manny Caruana and Tony Nunziato, testified against the proposed cell tower at 53-20 72nd Place in Maspeth on Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 at the second Board of Standards and Appeals hearing about the issue.
The cell tower was originally proposed in 2006, but online Department of Buildings records show that it was rejected by that agency because it would affect the structural stability of the 2-story residential building. Omnipoint then applied in 2007 for a variance to situate the 30-foot tower on the property. The application was reviewed and rejected by Community Board 5 and the Borough President.
When the application got to the Board of Standards and Appeals, it was met with skepticism by the commissioners at the first hearing back in January 2008. They requested that Omnipoint try to find an alternate location for the tower, and if that proved impossible, to show that they needed one at this specific spot. They also requested that the company try to make the tower smaller if they planned to erect it on 72nd Place.
Although Omnipoint has redrawn their plans for the tower, replacing it with a smaller tower (now 45 feet including the height of the building instead of 52 feet) and transmitters, to date they have not submitted proof to BSA that coverage is lacking in the area. They were asked yet again to provide this information along with new blueprints to BSA at Tuesday's hearing.
In addition to Tony Nunziato, Manny Caruana and two other Maspeth residents testifying against it, the community board and elected officials sent representatives to speak against it.
There are no remaining hearings left and BSA will rule on the application on December 17th. Check back at junipercivic.com for updates.