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Mill Neck OKs cell equipment moratorium

Sign outside a North Hills cell tower antenna

Sign outside a North Hills cell tower antenna site. (Aug. 25, 2010) Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

The Village of Mill Neck board of trustees has become the latest North Shore municipality to pass a six-month moratorium on the siting and installation of cellular phone antennas and other telecommunications equipment.

Brookville and Old Brookville passed their own moratoria in July, and Matinecock will probably consider one at its September meeting.

"We need to take a look at it, in terms of making sure what is put up is aesthetic, that there are some controls on it," said Mill Neck Mayor Peter Quick. "We're looking to make sure we do it right."

The trustees' unanimous vote on Thursday came despite objections at the meeting by a representative for Crown Castle, the company that is seeking to install cellular signal boxes on three utility poles in the village.

Attorney David Bronston told the board that the moratorium would cause delays on the company's permit applications -- which were filed in October -- that would be a violation of several provisions of the Federal Telecommunications Act.

"To add another six months or longer delay is really not permissible," Bronston said.

Quick said the trustees disagreed with Crown Castle's position that the village's action was illegal.

Mill Neck had submitted its draft ordinance to the Nassau County Planning Commission, which recommended a moratorium running for three months, rather than six. But the village overrode that recommendation Thursday.

Mill Neck currently has no ordinance governing telecommunications, and Quick said the moratorium would give the village time to develop one.

To help draft its ordinance, Mill Neck has hired the same North Carolina consultant, Rusty Monroe, being used by both Brookville and Old Brookville.

Crown Castle has applications pending with more than a half dozen North Shore villages.

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