NORTH HUDSON - The Adirondack Park Agency, working in partnership with the telecommunication companies, approved 17 cellular projects in 2008.
Since 1973, the agency has issued 67 new cellular carrier permits authorizing 73 activities.
Cellular coverage inside the Adirondack Park continues to improve as telecommunication companies successfully secure permit approvals for key highway corridors and population centers.
In 2008, the agency issued six permits for new towers, nine general permits for co-location on existing structures and two permit amendments to replace/co-locate antennas.
"The park agency would like to commend the cellular companies for their efforts to conscientiously select project sites that adhere to the agency's towers policy. The success we are experiencing proves it's possible to implement cellular technology without adversely impacting the unique scenic appeal of the Adirondacks, which is fundamentally critical in sustaining many sectors of our economy," stated APA Chairman Curtis F. Stiles.
The agency's towers policy, revised in August 2000, discourages mountaintop towers and promotes the co-location of facilities on existing structures. The policy is intended to protect the Adirondack Park's aesthetic and open space resources by requiring telecommunication tower sites achieve substantial invisible.
The policy recognizes the importance for telecommunications and other technologies in support of the needs of local residents, the visiting public and the park's economic sector. The policy includes guidance for telecommunication companies to ensure successful implementation of projects.
Guidance includes: avoiding locating facilities on mountaintops and ridge lines; concealing any structure by careful siting, using a topographic or vegetative foreground or backdrop; minimizing structure height and bulk; using color to blend with surroundings; and using existing buildings to locate facilities whenever possible.
Verizon Wireless' exit 29 tower located within one mile of the Northway in the town of North Hudson, is an example of achieving substantial invisibility. The project includes the construction of an 84-foot telecommunications tower with a 12-panel antenna array (four 8-foot panels on each of three sides of the array) and a 10-foot high lightning rod attached to the top of the tower. The overall height of the approved tower is 94 feet. This tower provides coverage in a north and south direction from exit 29 along the corridor.