North Huntingdon to hold hearing on cell phone tower |
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Joe Napsha

North Huntingdon officials will hold a public hearing this week on a request from Verizon Wireless for a variance to build a cell phone tower, an effort that is the target of a lawsuit by the township.

The commissioners scheduled a required public hearing for 6:30 p.m. Thursday on a request from Verizon Wireless and TowerCo 2013 LLC for a conditional use of a three-acre parcel along Oakside Drive for the construction of a 195-foot -tall monopole on land owned by Manor Borough.

In April, the township’s zoning hearing board granted Verizon Wireless and the Cary, N.C.-based TowerCo variances from the location requirements.

The township’s zoning officer, Thomas McGuire, previously denied Verizon a building permit because the site did not comply with township setback rules.

North Huntingdon filed a lawsuit in Westmoreland County Court against the zoning hearing board, TowerCo 2013 and Pittsburgh SMSA Ltd. Partnership, contending that Verizon Wireless failed to meet the requirements to receive a variance for the site.

The township has contended there are six wireless communications towers within a two mile radius of the proposed site. Verizon Wireless failed to show there was a significant gap in the coverage area and that the proposed remedy is the least obtrusive solution, the township claimed. It also said there was no testimony at the April 2 hearing that the property could not be developed within the rules of the ordinance.

Verizon Wireless has yet to file its response to the township’s objections.

The hearing will be held at the Towne House, 11279 Center Highway.

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