By Maury Thompson  |  |  10/25/15

Proposed cell tower in Queensbury would improve signal along Route 149

QUEENSBURY – A “well-established gap” in cellular service along Route 149 would be eliminated with a proposed new communications tower off Ridge Road in Queensbury, said Thomas Puchner, a lawyer for Cingular Wireless.

The proposed tower would particularly improve service for motorists traveling Route 149 from Queensbury to Fort Ann, and provide a better signal for homeowners in the neighborhood, he said.

The communications company, better known as AT&T, has proposed constructing a 130-foot monopole tower with nine antennas and an associated equipment shelter in a fenced-in area on a gravel pit that Kubricky Construction owns at 1359 Ridge Road, just south of the intersection with Jenkinsville Road.

The tower would have space to lease to two additional cellular providers.

The town Planning Board will review the site plan at its meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Queensbury Center.

The Adirondack Park Agency also must approve the site plan.

Puchner, of the law firm PhillpsLytle, presented plans to the Planning Board last Tuesday.

The Planning Board recommended that the Zoning Board of Appeals approve a use variance for the project, which the Zoning Board approved the next evening.

A variance is needed because communications towers are not permitted in a moderate-density residential zone.

Puchner said the tower will barely be visible.

“There will not be a single tree cut down. In fact, we were going to install trees by the road,” he said.

The signal now is poor in the Route 149 area, said Paul Schonewolf, a Planning Board member.

“If we can get the signal we need, that says a mouthful,” he said.

Matt Fuller, a Ridge Road resident, urged the Planning Board to approve the tower.

“We are on the north end of Ridge Road and we have absolutely no service at our house,” he said.

Fuller said he also wrote a letter to the Zoning Board urging approval of the variance.