Existing Locations - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1851029

Existing Locations

On December 9, the Southampton Town Planning Board was presented with a pre-submission plan from Verizon Wireless for a wireless communications facility at Sag Harbor Village-owned property at 1310 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike. Verizon Wireless is seeking a site plan special exception approval in order to construct, operate and maintain a 153-foot Stealth Tree Monopole and adjacent ground-level equipment.

As you drive down the turnpike heading toward Sag Harbor, you have beautiful vistas of the Long Pond Greenbelt Preserve. The tree canopy especially puts on a show for us during the fall.

Putting a fake tree with “simulated branches” that stands much higher than any other tree in the area and looks nothing like the native trees will be an eyesore as you enter Sag Harbor.

No one wants a cellphone tower in their backyard. Yet cellphone service is an important part of infrastructure that is needed in our community.

Southampton Town created a Wireless Master Plan detailing locations of existing towers and antennas. One that stood out to me is located just across the street from the proposed location. At the Long Island Power Authority transfer station, there is a 97-foot telephone pole that has been identified by Southampton Town as a cellular wireless facility. Unlike the proposed monopole location, which Verizon stated is in a “recessed area about 20 feet below the surrounding areas,” this telephone pole sits level with the road and does a pretty good job blending in with the trees in the area.

I believe if Verizon puts their antennas at this location, it will not create an eyesore like the 153-foot monopole and would provide additional wireless coverage.

I should note here that I currently have a plan with another carrier and get full bars of 5G coverage in this very area. I’m not sure if my carrier already has antennas at this facility or elsewhere, but Verizon really should review the existing Wireless Master Plan and focus on existing locations such as the LIPA transfer station, not building new 153-foot monopoles.

You may find yourself thinking, this is another homeowner concerned about property values, not wanting a cellphone tower in their backyard, and suggesting locations farther away from them to be developed. The location suggested is just across the street from the proposed site — and closer to my home, as it would be on the same side of the street.

My goal is to protect this beautiful stretch of woods that we are so lucky to have. I think all of us should be more concerned about the environment. The Long Pond Greenbelt is a treasure at the heart of the Hamptons. This parcel should not be developed further; it should be protected.

Maria Bartelme

Sag Harbor