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03/15/2017

Council refers two requests for rezoning to Planning Board

The Town Council on March 13, 2017 voted to send two requests for rezoning to the Planning Board.

One would allow a cell-phone tower on the Jordan Farm property at 19 Wells Road; the other would expand the business zone that encompasses the L.P. Murray and Sons gravel pit on Fowler Road to include a neighboring residence, also the former site of Pearson's Anything Goes.

The business zone is being requested by Bradley Pearson, owner of Anything Goes, a property-maintenance service. He is looking to move the business back to 27 Fowler Road, where his parents operated it as an accessory use out of their home.

Pearson took over the business approximately five years ago, and eventually moved it to South Portland to accommodate its growth. However, because most of his clients are still in Cape Elizabeth, "I currently am experiencing a reduction in productivity ... it takes approximately 15-20 minutes one-way from many of our jobs to our shop," Pearson said in a letter requesting the rezoning.

The property would be used for storage of trucks, equipment, and a garage/office for equipment maintenance and administration of the business. Pearson said things would be stored behind the home on a terrace 12 feet below street level. "So if anyone were to drive by you literally can't see it from the road," he told members of the council

The cell-phone zoning change is being requested by Global Signal Acquisitions IV, LLC (Crown Castle). They are proposing to relocate a tower on the neighboring Strout property to a section on the Jordan property north of the farming operation. [Maps]

Crown Castle is looking for a new location because it has been unable to negotiate a continuing lease at its present location, said Adam Barsotti, in-house senior counsel for Global Signal Acquisitions. The company is proposing a 180-foot monopole with a 75-by-75 foot equipment compound. It would hold antenna arrays for Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, and have room for two additional carriers.

The proposed tower is 242 feet from the edge of the current tower district, Barsotti said, and would be no more visible to passersby than it is right now. "The site at issue is critical to the communication network for the town," Barsotti said. "The town itself, as well as the local fire department, has radio equipment on this site, and our real intention here is just to ensure that there is uninterrupted network coverage for the citizens, for the government, (and) for any users," he said.

Councilor Penny Jordan, an owner of the Jordan's Farm property, did not participate in the discussion or vote.

The Planning Board will hold public hearings on both proposals before returning recommendations to the council.