Since last February, the Dover Sherborn Regional School Committee (RSC) has been pursuing the idea of a cell tower on the DS Regional Campus. They were initially notified by the the Town of Dover that an abutting landowner of the campus had applied to host a cell tower on their property. The RSC decided to pursue an RFP to host a tower on the campus, with their initial reasons being:
- The annual revenue stream
- Improved cell receptions.
- If the school does not put a tower on their property, the abutting landowner will do so and it will be even closer to the school.
Two presentations about the potential health effects from exposure to EMF radiation took place. The conclusion: any cell tower erected must be at least 600 meters (1968 feet) from any school building where our children will be present. The current proposal has it too close! You can view Ray Pealer’s presentation here. Both sessions were well-attended. Four members of the RSC were present.
Our petition asks that no tower be built (on EITHER property) within 600 meters (1968 feet) of the school. This distance is based on proven health effects within the vicinity of a cell tower (see Pealer Presentation). The RSC did not consider this evidence in its evaluation of the Cell Tower proposal. (see “Safety Presenation” on DS School District Home Page).
Regarding Cell Reception on the Campus: AT&T is the company looking to install the tower. Their own map shows some coverage exists for that area. In addition, there is another cell tower scheduled to be installed in Sherborn somewhere on the corner of Lake Street and East Goulding (“Mount Misery”). We have been told that this tower will host a Verizon cell and possibly several other carriers. Would this give the coverage DS needs? Latest technology allows cell phone calls and texts to be made via the wifi already available in the school. Also, a water tower is to be built on the Medfield State Hospital Property and the town of Medfield intends to host cell carriers on that tower.
Regarding the Abutting Landowner’s Proposed Tower Location: The RSC has never considered objecting to the Abutting Landowner’s application to host a cell tower. This can still be done. As we understand it, the landowner will need a Special Permit from the Dover Zoning Board of Appeals and a Special Permit from the Dover Planning Board. This will take significant time. The Dover Sherborn community has valid objections to be made at these hearings. The RSC also needs a Special Permit and possibly a variance. No Special Permit or Variance has been issued in either case. The abutter’s cell tower is not imminent or a “done deal”. The private property is located within a Medfield neighborhood, the residents of which are mobilized to object to that location for a variety of reasons, including property values. There are also other potential locations in the vicinity where AT&T could more easily place a cell.