New Cingular Wireless got permission tonight from the Upper Macungie Zoning Hearing Board to put a 150-foot cell tower on land next to I-78 off Oak View Drive.
With no objections from the public, the board voted unanimously to allow New Cingular Wireless of King of Prussia to build the tower in a wooded area on a 25-acre tract at 5274 Oak View Drive.
The property, zoned general industrial, is owned by Patriot, LLC (Hale Trailer Brake & Wheel). The township zoning ordinance required New Cingular Wireless to get a special exception to put in the tower.
At its closest point, the tower – also called a monopole – would be set back 196 feet from a property line, according to John Wolstenholme, the Doylestown architect who testified for New Cingular. He said the tower will be on a 55- by 55-foot parcel of land enclosed by an eight-foot chain link fence. It will be closer to I-78 than to Oak View Drive.
The tower will not be lighted, according to Gerald Tate, AT&T Mobility radio frequency engineer, who also testified at the township hearing. New Cingular is part of AT&T Mobility. The site is not close enough to an airport for lighting to be required by the Federal Aviation Administration, he said.
Tate said New Cingular needs the tower to ease a capacity problem at two other nearby cell towers and to improve cell phone coverage in the area.
Asked if the tower will have an adverse impact on the surrounding area or health and safety of citizens, Tate said it would not. Rather, he said, it will improve safety because it will help emergency services personnel to locate callers more quickly, say if they are in an accident on I-78.
“It would be more accurate,” Tate said. “We use our cell towers to pinpoint exactly where the person is.”