News Column

W-B Zoning Hearing Board OKs cell towers on high-rise

June 19, 2014

By Jerry Lynott, The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

June 19--WILKES-BARRE -- The city's Zoning Hearing Board approved a request Wednesday to install 12 telecommunications antennas atop the East End Towers high-rise apartments on Scott Street.

The board granted a variance for Northeast Pennsylvania SMSA Limited Partnership, doing business as Verizon Wireless, to allow the antennas to exceed the 8-foot height limit above the roof line.

The roof is approximately 65 feet high and Verizon proposes to place antennas between 8 and 12 feet tall on the roof.

The highest antennas would be attached to a penthouse on the roof of the building owned by the Wilkes-Barre Housing Authority. The top of the penthouse stands 82 from the ground and the highest antennas would be a foot taller.

Andy Petersohn , an engineer with dBmEngineering of Collegeville, specializing in radio frequency design, told the board the antennas are needed due to the growing demand of data services from the use of smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices. If the variance was not granted "it would prevent Verizon from adequately servicing this area," Petersohn said.

Also during the meeting held in council chambers at City Hall, the board tabled a request by Vito DeLuca to add four apartments to a 10-unit building at 155-159 S. Meade St. The board asked him to submit a parking plan to go along with his request to waive eight parking spaces.

Before the meeting the board met in executive session. Solicitor Charles McCormick said the board agreed to hire attorney William Higgs to represent it in the appeal by Children's Service Center of Wyoming Valley.

The board in April denied the center's application for a group home at the site of the former St. Theresa's convent on Old River Road. Higgs will be paid $150 an hour, McCormick said.


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Source: Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, PA)

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