The Edgartown Planning Board Tuesday unanimously approved a plan to place a cell antenna in an abandoned silo in Katama, despite some opposition from neighbors.
At meetings over the last few months, Katama residents had opposed AT&T’s plan to place the antenna in an abandoned silo at the Farm Institute, citing perceived concerns about radiation affecting property values and the Farm Institute’s donations, sales of produce and meat, and summer camp program. Farm Institute representatives said if the tower posed a risk to visitors or livestock, they would not have let the project go forward.
According to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as long as the antenna is compliant with FCC standards, the board cannot oppose the tower based on concerns about radiation, the planning board’s advisor said.
In the fall of 2011, voters at a special town meeting approved installing wireless cell antennae inside two abandoned silos to improve cell phone coverage in Katama, the Edgartown harbor and parts of Chappaquiddick. AT&T was the only provider to respond to a request for proposals from the town.