SCARBOROUGH – On Thursday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m., the Scarborough Town Council will hold a workshop on proposed new rules for cell towers.

The workshop follows months of debate on whether to allow cell towers to be built in more zones in town, with many arguing that towers should not be allowed in residential neighborhoods or near schools.

The current proposal incorporates many of the comments and concerns shared by residents and town leaders during the past several months and would impose several conditions, including a tiered approach to the siting of cell towers.

Under the proposal, new telecommunication or wireless transmission equipment should first be located on existing towers, then in the industrial or light industrial zones, then within buildings or other structures where permitted, then in the new Transmission Tower Overlay District.

In addition, the town would impose standards on cell tower construction, including a “standard height limit” of 130 feet, although under special circumstances a new tower could go as high as 150 feet.

The new rules would also require minimum lot size and setback conditions, sufficient buffering, a visual impact review, monopole-style towers, a restriction on artificial lighting, except what is required by federal rules or a state agency, and co-location.

While the proposal under review this week does take into account concerns raised by residents, the group Scarborough Families for Responsible Placement of Cell Towers is encouraging people to turn out Thursday in opposition of the new rules.

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