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Jul 10, 2017 12:42 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Cellphone Tower Proposed For Hampton Bays

Jul 11, 2017 2:15 PM

Dropped cellphone calls could be a thing of the past if the Southampton Town Planning Board approves a special exception permit for a wireless tower in Hampton Bays, according to the applicant.

John Tortorella, who owns J. Tortorella Swimming Pools and Centro Trattoria & Bar, both in Hampton Bays, is seeking permission to install a 150-foot-tall communications tower at 286 West Montauk Highway, next door to his pool business office. The tower, if approved, would go up near the railroad tracks on the nearly 3-acre property.

“The demand for data and phone service out here—it’s huge,” Mr. Tortorella said this week, as he explained his proposal.

A public hearing on the application will be held on Thursday, June 13, at 6 p.m., at Southampton Town Hall.

Bryan Felton, Mr. Tortorella’s project manager, said the device’s proposed design and aesthetics will be discussed at the hearing. The plan, he noted, is to conceal all of the cell antennas within the tower.

According to Mr. Felton, the tower would be leased to “multiple” cellphone carriers, including Verizon, though no contracts have been finalized yet. He would not say how many carriers the tower could accommodate.

It was not immediately clear when the tower could be built, assuming it receives town approvals.

“We would like it to be up as soon as possible, just because we want to provide the community with the service that they so demand,” Mr. Felton said.

Mr. Tortorella added that his application would fill a “major need” in the area.

“Obviously, it’s a major issue around here,” he said, referring to the lack of cellphone coverage. “Once Memorial Day starts, there are a lot of dropped calls and there are a lot of issues.”

Dennis Finnerty, chairman of the Town Planning Board, said this week that his panel is still reviewing the application. He added that a permit is needed because the property falls within the hamlet’s highway business zoning district, which allows only small businesses and banks.

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Finally! This would be a great impro... Hello? Hello?
By Mouthampton (419), Southampton on Jul 10, 17 4:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
Approve this please. Some of us who work from home depend on cell service
By Flannery66 (8), Hampton Bays on Jul 11, 17 3:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
8k run & 3 mile walk, Agawam Park, Southampton Rotary Club fundraiser