Friday, October 19, 2007

Cranford Chronicle 10/19/2007

Letter to the Editor:

Cell Tower Poses Threat to Neighborhood

To The Chronicle:

The first of several meetings was held Monday, Oct. 15 about the proposed cell phone tower that the Cranford Swim Club is trying to get variances for. Many citizens came out opposing this questionable display of citizenship. Please be aware that this private club, located in a residential area of Cranford, wants to put up a 130-foot cell phone tower. That is the equivalent of a 13-story building. The base of the tower and the station houses for four providers will be located only 14 feet from the nearest residential property line (Editor's Note -- This claim is in dispute and will be addressed at the next hearing). The amount of space required by Cranford Township for an application like this is approximately 390 feet from the property line. In fact, this proposal would need at least seven variances from municipal ordinances, but they had lawyers and expert witnesses to testify on their behalf.

At the meeting we heard that they also will be storing at least 250 gallons of diesel fuel for a backup generator and they don't need to have a fire hydrant nearby. Can we really trust the testimony of large cell phone companies and their paid representatives? No one really knows the long-term effects this would have on a neighborhood this close in proximity.

It is our understanding that the lawyers who represent the four cell companies (they then mentioned a fifth company Monday night) were turned down by six other Cranford sites. Dreyer Farms, Union County College and Nomahegan Park were just a few who felt that they would not sell out there neighbors for this disgusting piece of metal. They had the integrity to see that this would be a detriment to our community. But the members of the board of the Cranford Swim Club could not pass up the opportunity. They were willing to sell out our part of the town for a large payment every year to benefit their swimming pool.

We have collected over 300 signatures opposing this proposal. But we need everyone's help. The next board meeting is scheduled for Dec. 10. Please come out and help defeat this proposal -- or next time it could be in your backyard.