195-foot cell tower proposed for SWH

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — A Florida-based telecommunications company is proposing to build a 195-foot communications tower on leased property off the Freeman Ridge Road.

Vertical Bridge Development of Boca Raton, Fla., has an application before the Planning Board to construct the tower. If approved by the board, the company would build the tower on property owned by Kenneth Hutchins on the Buttermilk Brook Road.

Vertical Bridge Development presented its application at the Planning Board’s Nov. 2 meeting, where it was found to be incomplete, according to acting Chairman Lee Worcester.

Among the issues was that the company did not provide the proper documentation to show they have standing in the project, Worcester said. Another problem was that control of erosion and sedimentation was not addressed.

Worcester said he expects the applicant to address the issues and return at a future meeting. Part of the approval process would involve a public hearing.

Several neighbors to the proposed tower and a representative from Acadia National Park attended the Nov. 2 meeting. While questions were asked, “no one registered any complaints,” Worcester said.

Southwest Harbor, unlike other towns on Mount Desert Island, has not adopted restrictions on cell phone and other communications towers.

“There’s nothing in the land use ordinance that deals with cell towers,” Worcester said.

Bar Harbor, Mount Desert and Tremont have set a maximum height of 125 feet, 70 feet less than the proposed tower in Southwest Harbor. If constructed, the tower would be the second on the Freeman Ridge Road.

According to the application, the tower would be built upon a 60-by-60 foot pad. The total lease area would be 100 feet by 100 feet. An 846-foot access road would lead to the fenced facility.

According to the company’s website, Vertical Bridge Development is the largest owner of broadcast towers and the largest private owner of and manager of broadband towers in the United States. The company has about two dozen towers in Maine, two of which are in Hancock County.


Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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