The Town of Woodbridge was notified in mid-July of a proposed private transaction between residents at 118 Newton Road and Cellco Partnership DBA Verizon Wireless, of their intent to construct a new cell tower at 118 Newton Road in Woodbridge to “fill existing wireless service gaps in Cellco’s 2100 MHz frequency range and provide more reliable wireless service in Cellco’s 700 MHz frequency range to north central Woodbridge.”
At that time, no formal response to the initial July letter was made as none was required. We simply received technical information which needed to be provided at least 90 days before an application is filed with the Connecticut Siting Council, as the decision on the application is exclusively vested in the Siting Council.
Additionally, under Connecticut State Statutes, cell towers, such as the one proposed for 118 Newton Road, are specifically exempt from local Zoning Ordinances and are solely under the jurisdiction of the State Siting Council. Because cell towers are exempt from local Zoning Regulations, the members of the Town Plan and Zoning Commission have no authority to approve or disapprove the cell tower.
The Town of Woodbridge NEVER asked for, proposed, or had anything to do with, erecting this tower in our Town. Again, this is a private transaction between a homeowner and Cellco/Verizon.
I believe that this cell tower does NOT belong in a residential neighborhood, and we are continuing to find an alternate location that provides the needed service, but does not impact any residential neighborhood in our Town.
At our Regular Meeting on October 14, the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously against the construction of the proposed cell tower at this location. We also voted unanimously to speak with an attorney familiar with cases such as this, to get advice on how to proceed in the best interest of the town and residents.
Let me alert you to two important meetings coming up next week regarding this matter:
On Tuesday, October 20, the Board has scheduled a virtual Special Meeting at 5 pm to meet with an attorney to get advice as described above. You may view the virtual meeting at on Channel 79 or YouTube @WGATV79 Part of the meeting may be in Executive Session related to hiring an attorney, but any decision or action the Board takes will be public information that evening.
Additionally, I invite everyone to “virtually” attend a Public Meeting scheduled with Cellco/Verizon representatives on Thursday, October 22 at 7 pm. This meeting is an opportunity for anyone interested in this matter to state opinions, ask questions and get answers regarding this most important matter. You may virtually participate in this meeting at this link:
Meeting ID: 995 3131 4910; passcode: 474501