“After much debate and the two closest votes of this year’s Town [of Acton] Meeting, residents chose to adopt the more stringent of two zoning bylaw amendments governing amateur radio towers,” states an article in the April 7, 2005 issue of The Beacon in TownOnline.com. [Full text]
The amendment, known as Article 25B, allows “not more than two antenna towers of no more than 100 feet in height by right.”
“If someone would like to build a tower taller than 100 feet or would like more antennas, they can apply for a special permit,” said Dore’ Hunter, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen. An alternative amendment, known as Article 25A would have set no height limits on Amateur Radio towers. It was defeated.
“I was saddened, but not surprised, at the outcome last night,” commented Scott Andersen, NE1RD, in an email to the Billerica ARS mailing list. “My fear is that this will cost the town time and money. Of course, if it is found to be unworkable, we’ll just end up in town meeting again repeating the discussions.”
According to the TownOnline article, “Selectmen, backed by Town Counsel, felt that federal and state laws would permit the town to require a special permit for towers over 100 feet, and they believed that such a process would provide a forum for neighbors to communicate with each other, even if the town was unlikely to deny any request to build a radio tower.”
Town Finance Committee member Gim Hom, WB2QNL, is also quoted in the article: “We’re starting to talk about a lot of money that the applicant has to pay,” referring to the special permit application fees and the “costs of notifying all abutters and affected parties of a special permit hearing.”
(See also “Acton Hams Rally On Tower Zoning”.)