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Court grants 2nd 60-day delay so cell tower settlement can be formalized

March 05, 2014
WHITEFIELD — The Superior Court in Lancaster has granted a 60-day continuance to the parties that had previously reached a tentative out-of-court settlement on Jan. 2 to allow a cell tower to be erected on a small cleared parcel owned by Lois and Bob Stiles of Whitefield, on the east side of Route 3 North. The parcel is located a mile-and-a-half south of the Mountain View Grand.

Under the informal settlement, the cell tower company — Industrial Tower and Wireless, LLC, (ITW) of Marshfield, Mass. — would be allowed to erect a 175-foot-tall monopole, 20 feet shorter than the company's current permit that was approved by the town's Planning Board. The existing permit specifies a lattice-style tower.

A 175-foot monopole would only be 24 feet higher than the single wind tower that is 151 feet tall from base to blade tip that the historic Grand Hotel installed several years ago to make visible its commitment to "green" practices.

In early January, Superior Court Judge Peter Bornstein granted a motion jointly filed by the parties' attorneys to continue an Evidentiary Hearing for 60 days, which was then scheduled for Jan. 7.

However, resolving the conditions "has taken longer than anticipated and the parties believe that an additional 60 days is needed to order to finalize the settlement," according to court documents, and the parties' attorney asked for a second 60-day continuance, which the Court granted.

The Evidentiary Hearing would have allowed Judge Bornstein to hear arguments as to whether or not the Grand Hotel has standing in this matter since it is not technically an abutter to the cell-tower parcel.

Under the tentative agreement, the owner of the Mountain View Grand — the American Financial Group Inc., a Cincinnati-Ohio-based holding company whose primary business is insurance — would also have the right to decide on the color of the monopole.

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