120 Bracket Rd Cell Tower Letter to Rep. Messmer


Dear Representative Messmer,

We believe you are well aware of the opposition that has surfaced to the proposed construction of a Verizon cell tower in a single residential district of Rye. We now have 79 residents who have registered their opposition, and we expect that number to increase as more residents become aware of the ramifications of Verizon’s bold move to upend the established zoning regulations of the town.

Their plan is to place a 125 foot cell tower only 40 feet or less from the the road between two houses and exposed to houses across the road all within close proximity of each other. To achieve their goal, they are requesting 8 required variances according to a recent count – basically flaunting the Town of Rye’s current regulations Verizon intends to clear over 25 trees in proximity of a wetland, install a gravel road to a 30 x 40 foot area, enclosed by a 8 foot fence, a 12 x 17 a concrete pad, a 125 foot tower with 12 panels, 6 remote radio heads, a fiber junction box at the top, 2 equipment cabinets, a propane generator, overhead metal canopy, a 500 gallon propane tank on another concrete pad along with utility runs to a utility pole. All of this will be quite visible and imposing as people drive or walk on Brackett Road and the tower will be seen from many points in the surrounding area well exposed as it rises about 50 feet above the tree line. In short, this is a plan that will dramatically diminish property values and insult the aesthetics of the neighborhood.

For your additional information, I have enclosed some of the letters residents have written about this matter along with a document my wife and I prepared and submitted to the Town of Rye Planning Board on Jan. 22, 2018. Since then, Verizon has actually increased its number of variance requests. It seems that whenever they find a regulation that would prevent them from constructing a tower, they request a variance or waiver.

We wish to make it clear that we are not opposed to enhanced cell phone service in the Rye community.

However, we should not be required to risk our property values, aesthetic and health concerns in our residential district just so a cell phone tower can be installed when there are alternative sites available for such construction.

We would urge Verizon to refrain forthwith from its continuing effort to place a cell tower in a Rye residential district and to consider the alternatives sites on town or state property.

It should be noted that Verizon admits that municipal boards “retain the authority to evaluate whether a better alternative site exists that can address the identified gap in coverage [that] exists.” They claim that they have performed an extensive analysis and no other viable site within the search ring exists. We know that this is not true.

The problem is, as we see it, that neither the planning board nor other appropriate Town officials have been pro-active on this matter — that is, have worked directly with Verizon to help identify a viable site on town or state-owned properties. Instead, they seem to be reactive and placed in a position where any leadership role they should assert is pre-empted. In our view, the town administrator, the planning board and selectmen need “to evaluate whether a better alternative site exists”. It doesn’t appear that they have done this or exercised a leadership role in this matter. Instead, they are allowing Verizon to provide the direction, which involves upending the zoning designation of our area as a residential district and a terrible precedent.

In the December 2017 edition of the Town of Rye Newsletter, Senator Innis is cited as saying that there are areas of State land in Rye that might provide a solution to this problem. We have written to him about this matter, but we seek your assistance as the Representative of our area as well.

We  would  appreciate it, therefore, if you would identify for us any State or even local sites that might be considered as viable alternatives.

We bought or built our homes in a district designated by the Town of Rye as residential and believed that it would remain so. Insertion of a commercial venture by Verizon dramatically alters that designation and violates the trust we believed protected us. The presence of a 125 foot tower  would benefit Verizon and the resident collaborating with this company at the expense of all other home owners in the area. This arrangement would constitute a betrayal of that trust.

We  ask for your support and assistance in this effort to keep cell towers out of residential    districts

Yours sincerely,


Robert J. Gemmett, Kendra Gemmett

150 Brackett Rd, Rye 03870 rgemmett@brockport.edu 603-319-8602

Cc: Magnant, Town Adminstrator; Reed, P.B. Adminstrator;

     Epperson, Chair Planning Board; Weathersby, Chair ZBA; Rowell, Building             Inspector; Donovan, Town Attorney

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