Lake Success trustees reject most cell nodes in ExteNet proposal

Lake Success trustees reject most cell nodes in ExteNet proposal
Lake Success Village Mayor Adam Hoffman looks on as Village Administrator Pat Farrell reads a resolution regarding ExteNet Systems. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Village of Lake Success trustees rejected nine of the 13 cellular nodes ExteNet Systems proposed in a bid to improve cellphone service on Monday night, following months of residents opposing the proposal.

The proposal from ExteNet Systems, a company that designs, builds and manages distributed networks and is contracted with Verizon Wireless, called for the installation of 13 cell nodes on poles throughout the village to boost data capacity, broadband speeds and coverage, which it argued is lacking in the area.

Residents had often filled public hearings in response to the proposed installation of cell nodes throughout the village, raising concerns about aesthetics, placement and property values. They also questioned the need for the nodes, suggesting coverage was already excellent.

While trustees adopted a “negative declaration” pursuant to the state’s environmental quality review act, meaning the project was seen as having no significant adverse environmental impact, they moved to reject a majority of the proposed cell nodes on individual votes.

The four approvals were on relatively narrow margins, with none getting a unanimous vote.

Node No. 3, to be located at the right of way adjacent to 334 Lakeville Road, was approved 4-3, node No. 4 adjacent to 318 Lakeville Road was approved 5-2, node No. 6 near the northeast quadrant at Horace Harding Blvd. and Lakeview Road was approved 4-3, and node No. 7a in the Lake Success Golf Club was approved by a 4-3 vote.

Trustees unanimously rejected six nodes: node No. 1 at the right of way adjacent to 1 Pine Hill Road, No. 5 at the right of way adjacent to 21 Briarfield Drive, No. 8 at the right of way adjacent to 75 Horace Harding Blvd., No. 11 at the right of way adjacent to 37 Meadow Woods Road, No. 12 near 2 Bridle Path, and No. 13 at the corner of Lakeville Road and Windsor Gate.

Trustees rejected node No. 9, proposed for the right of way at the intersection of Horace Harding Blvd. and Fairway Drive on a 6-1 vote. Node No. 2 at the right of way adjacent to 354 Lakeville Road and No. 10 at the right of way adjacent to 255 Lakeville Road were voted down 4-3.

Ed Ross, who served as outside counsel to the village for the issue, said at the meeting that some factors to consider in voting were aesthetics, efforts to mitigate impacts and effects on property values, based in part on testimony by real estate brokers.

Mayor Adam Hoffman said in a follow-up call on Tuesday that trustees could not yet comment publicly on their voting rationale per node, as lawyers are involved in a “wrap up period.”

Richard Lambert, the regional director of external relations for ExteNet’s eastern region, said the company is weighing its next moves.

“I will be discussing the results with our team and deciding next steps shortly,” Lambert said via email.

Asked if the next steps could be determined by Wednesday Lambert said it was unlikely.

“Too many people need to be involved in the decision,” Lambert said.

Lake Success’ decision comes as other villages wrangle over the question of the installation cell nodes, which Federal Communications Commission regulations are generally seen as deferential to.

In unrelated business, trustees set a public hearing date of June 10 for proposed regulations related to Airbnb, a service allowing for people to advertise and rent rooms within their homes to transient people on a short-term basis.

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