Rye Seeks Voter Approval For Controversial Verizon Cell Tower

Mar 11, 2019

A photo simulation shows what the monopine tower, shown through the trees at center, would have looked like at its original proposed location on Brackett Road. It’s now being proposed for a more secluded area nearby.
Credit Courtesy Verizon/Town of Rye

Voters in Rye will decide Tuesday whether to let Verizon build a controversial new cell phone tower in town.

The town of Rye has struggled for years with patchy cell service. Verizon says its proposed tower would change that – but the plan has met resistance from residents.

The original proposal would have put the 125-foot “monopine” tower, constructed to look like a tree, just off a main residential street, Brackett Road. After backlash, the town and the utility drafted a lease for a slightly more secluded lot half a mile away, near Parsons Road.

At town meeting Tuesday, residents will vote whether to approve that lease and a handful of related articles recommended for passage by Rye selectmen.

One article would have the town write a comprehensive telecommunications plan with pros and cons of new infrastructure to eliminate dead spots.

In deliberations on that proposal, selectmen suggested it could help protect local property from aggressive utility development or unfavorable federal regulations in future.

CORRECTION: An earlier verson of this article included a map showing an incorrect location for the proposed cell tower. The tower site is just to the east of where it was originally shown, and slightly closer to homes. A corrected map showing the rough location of the proposed tower appears below. 

This map shows the rough location of the cell tower as originally proposed, in orange, and currently proposed, in blue.