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Fire district's 99-foot pole illegal, Huntington officials said

A monopole at the Cold Spring Harbor Fire

A monopole at the Cold Spring Harbor Fire District facility on Main Street was built without a permit, officials said.  Credit: Yellow House Images/Andrew Theodorakis

The Cold Spring Harbor Fire District is working with Town of Huntington officials to legalize a 99-foot monopole built on the grounds of the district’s facility on Main Street.

Huntington Town Attorney Nick Ciappetta said the town issued the district a notice of violation in August for the monopole that was constructed without a permit. He said the fire district now needs to apply for a special use permit for a telecommunication facility. He said the district will also be required to obtain a certificate of approval because the monopole is located in a historic district.

“We’ve explained the process to them, and we anticipate they are going to get the ball rolling to legalize it,” Ciappetta said.

Fire district officials did not respond to calls and emails for comment about the monopole, which was constructed in May. Monopoles are typically used for communication purposes.

Cold Spring Harbor resident Lynn Casey said she is upset she had no input on where the pole was placed and real estate agents have told her that the monopole is impacting the value of her home by as much as 20 percent. The home, elevated on a hill, is valued at $1 million and has a direct view of Cold Spring Harbor, which is now obstructed by the monopole.

“I would like it moved and most of the people in the neighborhood feel the same way,” Casey said. “Not only is it a health consideration but the placement of it is impacting the value of our houses.”

Huntington-based attorney Andrew Campanelli, who is representing Casey in any legal proceedings involving the pole, said the fire district should have filed an application for a permit, which would have triggered several steps, including a public hearing.  

“You don’t just plop it anywhere you find where it makes sense,” Campanelli said. “Had they filed an application for a permit and had a site plan review by the Town of Huntington, the town would never have approved it at this particular spot. If you had gone to the property and said, ‘Let’s find the worst possible place to put it to really hurt the neighbors,’ this is the spot they chose.”

Campanelli said he has served a notice to both town and fire district officials on an intent to sue if town code is not enforced or the situation is not corrected.

Campanelli said the monopole should be removed.

“Not to say they don’t need a tower for communications and that they can’t put one up, but there should be a site plan review and they should find a location that makes sense,” he said. “Even if it’s on this parcel it should be legal and placed in such a way that it doesn’t hurt the resident.”

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