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New Castle Cell Tower Faces Resident Opposition

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Two site proposals for a 130-foot cell tower were met with mixed reviews from residents Monday night after being opened up for public debate at a New Castle Planning Board meeting.

Manny Vicente, president of Homeland Towers, a cell tower development company, presented detailed site proposals for placing a tower at 50 Hoags Cross Road in New Castle or at Amsterdam Park, 31 Hoags Cross Road. Vicente prefers the 50 Hoags Cross Road site but submitted the Amsterdam Park alternative at the request of the Planning Board.

"There are a lot more homes with direct views of the tower at the Amsterdam Park site than there was at Hoags Road," Vicente said. "Unequivocally. Not even close."

Vicente said existing Consolidated Edison towers at the 50 Hoags Cross Road site would make his company's tower less noticeable, as opposed to sticking it in the middle of a park next to homes and the Hudson Hills Golf Course.

Planning Board member Tom Curley agreed and called the Amsterdam Park proposal "entirely inappropriate." Curley said it makes no sense to spend thousands of dollars renovating the park's carriage house, as the town has done, if a 130-foot pole is going to be stuck in front of it.

"I just think that if we put the kind of facility we're talking about right near the front door of this building, we are further going to frustrate the use of this building," Curley said.

Several residents who live near the proposed sites voiced their opposition to the tower. Hoags Cross resident Mark Picucci said the Amsterdams, for whom the park is named, would be "rolling over in their graves" if they saw the proposal.

"It seems like it's really being shoehorned in," Pinesbridge Road resident Bill McGinness said about the Amsterdam Park proposal. "I think it's a really poor idea to even consider that site."

The public hearing on the proposals will continue on Monday, July 17. The Planning Board requested additional studies from Homeland Towers on noise and traffic, and an evaluation of site lines from the adjoining golf course, and a photo rendering of what the site would look like from the ground level.

"We would like some additional information so we can wrap this up and move on," said Planning Board Chair Richard Brownell.

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