For close to two years, a group of concerned Pawling citizens has advocated to change the proposed site of the Homeland Towers, LLC cell tower from 73 Cunningham Lane to another area. Erecting the tower on the Cunningham Lane property would make it visible from the village, Quaker Hill, and other parts of Pawling. In addition to discussing legal issues at several Pawling Planning Board meetings, residents have argued that the visibility of the 150 foot tower could impact real estate value. No one has denied, however, the need for better cell service in the Pawling area. Although Homeland Towers stated multiple times that they had already considered, and rejected, alternative sites, opposition continued to arise at the Planning Board meetings. Pawling citizens have proposed other sites such as a property on Debby Lane and, most recently, the Pawling Mountain Club.
Negotiations for this piece of property are underway, as the deadline for the vote to accept the Cell Tower Application as presented with the Cunningham Lane site continues to be extended. Extensions have been granted every month, for four months. Homeland Towers’ attorney Christopher Fisher from the firm of Cuddy and Feder requested, in a May 13th letter to the Planning Board, that the matter be tabled until the end of June; this was necessary, he wrote, because Homeland Towers was still assessing the viability of the Pawling Mountain Club as the third of three alternate sites, and “the process of review has taken longer than expected due to the weather and other variables.” Cuddy and Feder submitted another extension letter during the first week of June, pushing the date of the vote to July.
For now, residents await the outcome of negotiations regarding the Pawling Mountain Club. The Planning Board also still has legal issues to work through, such as declaring whether or not the site has been properly assessed under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). Despite these delays, blue lawn signs denouncing the cell tower still pepper the yards of many Pawling homes, as residents remain deeply interested in the debate.