To the editor:
I would like to share my concerns over the Pittsfield cell tower at 877 South Street. So many things are wrong about the tower. We need to remedy these breaches and put a better process in place to ensure it does not happen again to unsuspecting residents in the future.
The height and location of the tower are substantially detrimental to the neighborhood. How can a 115-foot metal tower not create significant visual impact for those who live next to it? It will overlook the front, side, and back yards of those living in the neighborhood as well as being visible from a distance. It will overlook yards where children play and families spend time together. It will be a stain on the landscape and a detriment to the safety and well-being of the residents and their property values.
To not have received written notification about the tower was wrong. The city cannot provide any proof of mailing. In the future, all letters about towers or any project of such significance should be sent by registered mail.
For the city to not stop the construction of the tower once it knew abutters were never properly notified is wrong. These abutters notified the city that they had never received a single mailing from either Verizon or the city of Pittsfield about the project and asked for a stop-work order until after COVID-19. There was a complete lack of communication, transparency and information about the tower. Once the city was aware of these issues, it was wrong for them to not take responsibility for their actions.
It is wrong for taxpaying citizens to have to take legal recourse when their own elected officials should be supporting and championing them.
At a time when there is a global pandemic and families are already dealing with so much hardship, stress, and uncertainty, it is wrong that these families did not receive the support of their city in placing a stop-work order on the tower until they have had access to normal recourses.
Pittsfield has passed 5G permitting. I encourage everyone to get educated about zoning and demand better systems for notifications and communication around cell towers and small cells before you find yourself waking up to something like this happening to you.
Published in Berkshire Eagle