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Upper Brookville places hold on cellphone antennas

Upper Brookville has become the latest North Shore village in Nassau to approve a moratorium on installation of cellular phone antennas and other telecommunications equipment.

But while other villages have passed laws mandating a six-month delay in considering applications, the Upper Brookville Village Board last Thursday opted for a three-month moratorium instead of the six months spelled out in its proposed law.

That was in keeping with a recommendation from the Nassau County Planning Commission.

With two board members absent, Mayor Terry Thielen and Trustees Francis Russo and Michael Schwerin approved the moratorium.

One resident spoke at the hearing about the need for better cellular service in the village.

But unlike hearings by other village boards, no representative for Crown Castle, which has applications pending for new cellular signal boxes in the village, attended to oppose the moratorium.

Last week, Mill Neck approved a six-month moratorium. Brookville and Old Brookville passed their own moratoria in July, while Matinecock will probably consider one next month.

At other village hearings, Crown Castle attorney David Bronston argued unsuccessfully that the laws would cause delays in the company's permit applications, which were filed in October.

He also argued the villages' actions would be a violation of several provisions of the Federal Telecommunications Act.

Crown Castle also has applications pending in Brookville, Old Brookville, Upper Brookville, Matinecock and Oyster Bay Cove to install antenna units.

To help draft updated or new telecommunication ordinances, some of the villages have hired the same North Carolina consultant, Rusty Monroe.

Muttontown in June became the first North Shore villages to approve a Crown Castle application, for modifying equipment on two utility poles.

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