Cell tower a bad idea

To the Editor:

As reported in “Cell Tower Hearing Set” in last week’s Islander, a 199-foot-tall tower is proposed for Freeman Ridge in Southwest Harbor. The project should be nixed.

There is already a cell tower (less than 100 feet tall) on Freeman Ridge.

The humongous new lattice tower, 74 feet higher than would be allowed by any other town on MDI and perched atop a 200-foot-high ridge, would be visible from mountains on both sides of Somes Sound, much of Southwest Harbor including the harbor itself, and many other areas on MDI and offshore. Camouflage wouldn’t help: a shaggy needle 199 feet high would still be eye-catchingly artificial. Nobody could ever mistake it for a tree.

Cell towers reduce nearby residential property values, so the new tower would injure some of our neighbors on Freeman Ridge. If we turn a blind eye to this kind of ruthless development, which of us could be next?

The Department of the Interior says that communication towers, including lattice structures like the proposed tower, impact protected migratory birds and eagles through injury and death from collisions. Friends of Acadia has expressed concern about danger to bats.

Fortunately, the proposed uglification of our skyline is not yet a done deal: the Federal Communications Commission invites all interested persons to raise concerns by submitting requests for environmental review. Follow the steps described at www.fcc.gov/asr/environmentalrequest and refer to the project by its number, A1096670.

Ecological, aesthetic, historic, social and cumulative and indirect effects are, by law, all fair game.

Larry Gilman

Southwest Harbor


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