(updated May 9th)
In October of last year, the Rye City Council approved a settlement a multi-year litigation with Verizon over the positioning of cell antennas in or near our central business district. The settlement will result in the construction, beginning this week, by Verizon of an 80- foot “unipole” capable of serving multiple carriers to the east of the Rye police station on the wooded hillside adjoining the railroad station parking lot between McCullough Place and Rye Subaru’s property.
This spot was to have been the location of a fifty-percent taller cell tower that was the subject of a settlement by a prior administration in 2006 with a different cell carrier that never undertook construction.
According to the City, Federal law provides significant advantages to telecommunications companies against municipalities like Rye. In 2019, the City Council denied Verizon’s application to place antennas in a residential area on Purchase Street because Verizon’s proposed antennas would have violated the City’s wireless law. Instead of working on a solution with the City and reapplying (as suggested), Verizon chose to bring a federal telecommunications lawsuit against the City.
The City Council, as proposed by counsel, entered into a settlement with Verizon in the mistaken belief that a unipole could be based immediately adjacent to the railroad station lot and at the level of the lot. The Council later learned that MTA, not the City, owns the bottom of the hillside and the court ordered the unipole to be sited on higher City property. In accordance with that order, the City will permit construction to begin.
Verizon will use some of the metered and permitted parking spots during the unipole construction, as marked in the photo above, in the vicinity for their equipment and operations. Construction is set to commence on Thursday, May 11th and will take approximately three months to complete. During this time there will be some parking disruptions in the area.