Verizon Wants Taller Tower At Firehouse

This plan shows what Verizon wants to build. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  BRICK – Verizon hopes to build a 90-foot-tall communications pole on the grounds of the Pioneer firehouse at 321 Route 35 north on the barrier island.

  Appearing before the Board of Adjustment on March 31, attorney for Cello Partnership d/b/a Verizon, Rich Stanzione, said his client would require a use variance and a preliminary and a major site plan approval for the project.

  In addition to the 90-foot monopole and a six-foot lightning rod, a fenced-in compound measuring about 20 by 30 feet containing support equipment, including an emergency 30 kw diesel generator, was part of the application.

  The monopole would not only have Verizon wireless antennas, but the township police and fire antennas would be relocated from a nearby 72-foot high lattice tower (which would be demolished) to the new communications pole.

  A microwave dish being proposed by Brick Township Recreation is also part of the project, Stanzione said.

This photo shows where the existing tower is. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  “So the purpose for this facility is not just for Verizon Wireless, it’s also for purposes of the municipal services,” he said.

  The minimum lot area in the zone is 9,000 square feet while the existing lot is 7,500 square feet, he said. The existing front yard setback is 25 feet, and 19.7 feet is the setback for the proposed tower to Route 35 north.

  Additionally, the maximum allowable building coverage is 30 percent, while currently there is 32 percent. The proposed development would have 35 percent building coverage, Stanzione said.

  Coverage has to do with how much of the ground is covered by buildings, driveways, and other construction that prevents groundwater from seeping in.

  There are a number of conditions the application is not meeting, such as for setbacks from nearby residences and setbacks from lot lines, but they don’t apply because a use variance is needed, Stanzione said (A use variance would allow the owner to use the property in a way that is not permitted under zoning law).

  Engineer for the applicant, James Murawski, described existing conditions on the rectangular site, which is owned by the fire company.

This plan shows what Verizon wants to build. (Screenshot by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  The corner lot is bounded by West Central Avenue to the west, Ocean Boulevard to the east, and Bay Boulevard to the north. The property north of Bay Blvd. is the location of Used To Be’s restaurant, which has a large, paved parking lot. The lots to the east and west are residential lots, and to the south is a Brick Police building and a large township-owned paved lot, which is preserved open space, he said.

  The subject lot contains a single-story fire company garage, approximately 2,430 square foot in area with two garage bay doors facing north, Murawski said. The lot is in a flood zone, he added.

  The property also contains a temporary wireless cell site that is operated by Verizon wireless, approximately 78 feet above grade level, or 83 feet tall including the six antennas, he said.

This map shows a “coverage gap” that Verizon said the tower would fix. (Screenshot by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  The permanent telecommunications complex would be located within the only area available that could accommodate the proposed installation on this property, he added.

  It would be fenced in by a wood or composite material board-on-board fencing, eight feet high, the engineer said.

  The equipment within the compound would be supported by a steel platform, 12.5 feet by 16 feet, elevated to two feet above grade which satisfies the flood zone requirements, he said.

  Two barrier island communities, Seneca Dunes Beach Association and Bayview Shores Homeowners Association, hired objector attorneys Robert Ferraro and Michael Castore, respectively, to represent them.

  Testimony will continue at the next virtual Board of Adjustment meeting on June 2 at 7 p.m. when the objectors’ attorneys may cross examine the applicant’s witnesses. They may also present expert witnesses of their own. Public comment will follow after testimony has been completed at the next or at a subsequent meeting.