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Sprint Tests Height, Location of Possible Cell Tower at Centenary Facility

Workers spent morning after Thanksgiving stretching crane 150 feet into the sky, against neighboring fence.

Photo courtesy Joe Poluhovich.
Photo courtesy Joe Poluhovich.

It was only a test.

But it was one that made the potential reality of a new cellular tower placed in a residential neighborhood very possible.

Joe Poluhovich and his neighbors on Califon Road spent part of their holiday weekend watching personnel from Sprint test a site at the Centenary College Equestrian Facility atop Schooley’s Mountain for a test of the height and location for a possible monopole structure.

Poluhovich said the township told him a test would be done by the company, but there was never a timetable for when it would actually happen, he said.

So on the morning of Friday, Nov. 29, Poluhovich looked out his window and saw a crane being erected right along his neighbor’s fence.

The crane, however, only stretched 150 feet high. The variance Sprint is looking for from the township is asking for 171 feet, according to zoning officer Barbara Margolese.

The communications company is also seeking a variance on a setback rule requiring structures be built 1,000 feet from the nearest property.

Centenary College’s equestrian facility owns 65 acres of land on the property; all but five of which are preserved.

When Poluhovich spoke with the Sprint members conducting the test, he asked if there would be a red beacon atop the pole.

“(The workers) said that was up the to the FAA,” said the seven-year Califon Road resident who built a website fighting the cell tower. “I went and laid in my bed upstairs in my house, and sure enough, I could see – from my bed – the exact location of where a red beacon would be.”

Antennas would be placed at the 150-foot level, and the remaining 21 feet would be in the form of a decorative windmill, Sprint told Poluhovich.

Sprint’s next appearance before the zoning board was originally scheduled for Dec. 4, but the applicant has canceled.

Poluhovich said no new notices from Centenary, Sprint, or Washington Township have come regarding any additional tests. 

DoTheRightThing December 06, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Who wants a 171 foot cell tower up against their fence??? I couldn't put a small shed within 20 feet of my property line in this town without a variance and approval from the neighbors.
Nancylee Martin December 06, 2013 at 10:59 PM
We in Long Valley have within approximately 2 miles of the proposed tower have six towers already not (including anything on the Califon side Of the proposed Tower ) How many towers do we need? At 171 feet, we who live on Zellers rd. will have a lovely view of a fake windmill above the tree line. Who wants to see that? Also, theses towers can effect health. When I moved to Long Valley 8 years ago, part of the reason I moved from where I used to live was a tower was having an effect on my health. I do not want to see Long valley becoming a " Tower farm."
Liberty December 07, 2013 at 11:15 AM
(http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/cellular-phone-towers--this is a site for the American Cancer Society, towers are not harmful to your health.) That being said, I don't live in the vicinity of the proposed tower, but I do oppose it's construction. And why would Sprint be allowed height and setback variances? We had to jump through hoops to build a fence on our own property. Hopefully Sprint has backed off permanently.
Caryl Brackenridge December 08, 2013 at 08:29 AM
We do not need another cell tower in Long Valley, and certainly not in an historic residential neighborhood. The houses in "Scrappy Corner", directly across the street from the Centenary property, date from the 1800's. Even if we needed another cell tower, this would not be an appropriate location, especially with the variances that would be required.
PF December 08, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Liberty-We should not forget that smoking and asbestos were not hazardous at one time either. This is a risk we are not willing to take. We are happy to see you are opposed to the tower and appreciate your support up here.
Nancylee Martin December 09, 2013 at 12:29 AM
I went to the town meeting on dec.4 and the topic of the Sprint tower was postponed to January. What disturbed me was that there were so few people there! People, If you don't want this in our town. If you don't want Long Valley to become a "Tower Farm" show up at the January meeting!
PF December 10, 2013 at 10:32 AM
Nancylee, We will be there. Many of us knew that the meeting was going to be pushed until January. You can find more information here if you have not already seen the site and if you are interested in placing a sign in your yard. Thanks! http://www.fightthecelltower.com/

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