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Resistance continues to Verizon's proposal to build six towers on Providence Hall roof

Feb 17, 2021 6:00 am

Aliya Schneider is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media 19 Hudson residents have hired an attorney to fight Verizon’s application to install six antennas atop Providence Hall. The planning board's public hearing had its fifth session on February 9 and it remains open into the sixth month on March 9. The application was submitted by Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems on behalf of Verizon Wireless for the installation and operation of wireless communications equipment on the roof of 119 Columbia Street in the city's 2nd Ward. Residents are adamantly opposed to the proposal and have gathered arguments against the application that are within the board’s purview. The planning board can consider visual impacts, code compliance, structural assessments and cultural resources, but not health concerns, said Michael Musso, a senior project manager and risk assessor for the design firm HDR that has been serving as a consultant to the planning board throughout the application process. The application cannot legally be denied because of health concerns as long as the proposition is within Federal Communications Commission guidelines. Attorney Andrew Campanelli represented Alexandra Semchenko and 18 other Hudson residents at the Feb. 9 public hearing. He is arguing a number of issues in opposition to the application including that Verizon has failed to establish that approving the application would be consistent with smart planning requirements under the city code and placement of the antennas would inflict adverse impacts on nearby homes. Planning board member Theresa Joyner previously asked how much of the service area would cover Greene County. The majority of the coverage will be in Hudson, Musso said. Planning board member Clark Wieman wanted to make sure that other sites were seriously considered, he said. Planning board member John Cody suggested a couple of alternative locations. Second Ward Alderwoman and Council Majority Leader Tiffany Garriga suggested Verizon seek another location. As a large company, it should have the capacity to do so, she said. It was unclear whether residents of Bliss Towers and Providence Hall had been adequately notified about the project, thereby providing additional concern for extending the opportunity for public comment. Anyone with alternate site suggestions is asked to write to Planning Board Chairwoman Betsy Gramkow no later than February 19. The public hearing will continue March 9. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.