Application Materials

To view the presentation shown at the Nov. 21 Planning Board Special Meeting, please click here.

To view photos submitted by residents captured during the Nov. 15 balloon test, please click here.

Application materials and supporting documents:

Updated December 2, 2022

Planning Board Special Meeting and Public Hearing 12/5 7:30pm

 

To view the presentation shown at the Nov. 21 Planning Board Special Meeting, please click here.

To view photos submitted by residents captured during the Nov. 15 balloon test, please click here.

Application materials and supporting documents:

Updated December 2, 2022

Planning Board Special Meeting and Public Hearing 12/5 7:30pm

 

To view the presentation shown at the Nov. 21 Planning Board Special Meeting, please click here.

To view photos submitted by residents captured during the Nov. 15 balloon test, please click here.

Application materials and supporting documents:

Updated November 21, 2022

Special Planning Board Meeting Monday 11/21 7:30pm
Executive Session to begin at 7:00 PM

The Planning Board will discuss the preliminary results of the balloon test at the Monday, Nov. 21, 2022 7:30pm special meeting. There will be an executive session at 7:00pm prior to the start of the scheduled special meeting.

The Balloon Test at 954 Old Post Rd. was held Tuesday, November 15. 

The discussion by the Planning Board of the balloon photos will commence at a special meeting on November 21. Public comments on the balloon test will be heard.

The Planning Board will hold an Executive Session for the purposes of legal advice from 7:00PM-7:30PM. The public meeting will begin at 7:30PM.

Updated November 10, 2022

Alternative Site Balloon Test

The application by Verizon for a wireless facility on the hill behind the Bedford Post Inn (at 954 Old Post Road) may have visual implications on surrounding properties. Therefore, a balloon will be floated up to the height of the proposed monopine (or monopole) in the proposed location of the facility and photographs will be taken of the balloon from various locations. The photographs and visual simulations created from those photographs will allow the planning board to review the potential visual impact and provide the community with additional information regarding any potential impacts. Visual impact from this facility is one of many factors that determine whether a wireless facility is more or less intrusive than a wireless facility at another available locations.

The balloon test must occur when there is no rain and wind must be minimal. Due to the storm heading up the coast, Saturday, November 12, will not be a good day for a balloon test. We are keeping an eye on the weather to determine if Sunday, November 13, will provide the right conditions.  If not, the balloon test will be held on Monday, November 14.  Further information about the balloon test will be posted here on this page the night before the balloon test is going to take place. The balloon test will occur between approximately 7:45 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. the morning of the date it occurs.

Please note, the Planning Board will begin looking at the photos at their meeting on Monday, November 14. This will not be the only opportunity for the public to see and comment on the photos. Visual renderings will be produced from some of the photos and considered by the Planning Board in December. Review of the full application and public hearings will also occur in December.

Updated November 3, 2022

Verizon settlement Alternative Site

 

As you may be aware, the Town of Bedford has been working to settle a lawsuit against the Town by Verizon for many months. Verizon commenced the litigation because the Planning Board did not approve two of its applications to construct a wireless facility on Stone Hill Road and on Hickory Lane. While the Town was working on a proposed settlement of the lawsuit, a potential new site has come to our attention that we believe provides better coverage and may have less of an impact on the surrounding properties.  We have asked the court in the federal litigation to provide additional time to explore this option as a possible site for the settlement and are proceeding with the review of this site. Click here for Verizon’s application.

At this time there are still outstanding issues that need to be investigated and resolved; however, due to stringent court deadlines in the lawsuit, the Planning Board intends to review Verizon’s initial application for a wireless facility on property located at 954 Old Post Road on Tuesday, November 1 at 8:00 p.m., to start the initial 30-day notice period under the State Environmental Quality Review Act.  This 30 day period is required before the Planning Board may make any determinations with respect to potential environmental impacts from the project.  There will not be public discussion during the meeting on November 1.  However, the Planning Board will hold a public hearing in early December and will hear public comments at that time.

The Town is cautiously optimistic that a site has been located that may be less intrusive than the Stone Hill Road or Hickory Lane sites. We hope that the coverage, visual, environmental, and other elements of the review prove this to be true so that we will have a reasonable settlement option and a facility to provide wireless coverage for cell service and communications for emergency responders.

If you would like to be on the email list to receive notice of a balloon test or upcoming public hearings, please email planning@bedfordny.gov

The balloon test will be conducted on either 11/12 or 11/13 depending on the wind/weather.

If you would like to request photos of the balloon test be taken from your property, sign up here by 11/7/22.

July 8, 2022

Verizon settlement to Involve Planning Board

 

The Town Board met on Wednesday, July 6, 2022 in Executive Session to receive an update and legal advice regarding the lawsuit by Verizon against the Town over the Town’s rejection of Verizon’s applications to build wireless facilities at Hickory Lane and Stone Hill Road. The Town Board decided to pause the settlement underway to invite the Planning Board to participate in the process.

This Town Board decision is due to a recent state court case opinion which puts at risk a settlement between a Town Board and a wireless facility company that does not include Planning Board consent. While most federal courts have held a Town Board may settle cases regarding the Federal Telecommunications Act on behalf of a Town without the consent of their Planning Board, and this was confirmed recently by the attorneys at the Association of Towns, this new court decision rejects this position. Given that a settlement would likely be held up in the state courts for an extended period of time, the Town Board will ask the Planning Board to get involved in our current settlement negotiation. The Town Board agreed that Planning Board involvement may be helpful since residents have asked for this and it gives the Town an opportunity for a fresh look at the strategy to settle for the least intrusive option before us, the review of that option, and the likelihood of our success in the lawsuit given this new court decision. It may also give us more time to explore alternatives. Planning Board review and approval of any new alternative sites for settlement would also be necessary.

This will take some time to determine the resources the Planning Board needs, provide those resources, and bring everyone up to speed. The Town Board agreed that the Planning Board will need to have legal counsel to assist them in their review of the settlement and we will find outside counsel to do this. I will continue to update the public as the timeline for all of this becomes more clear.

June 13, 2022

Overview and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

The Town Board has been asked questions about why it is in settlement negotiations and what settling a lawsuit means for future wireless facilities in town. People have asked why we won’t oppose all wireless projects or why alternatives aren’t on the table in this case. Click here for our best effort at describing where we are and answering the questions.

The Town Board is dealing with the huge challenge of settling a lawsuit with Verizon and there is no possible outcome that will not impact nearby homes and sight lines. Federal communications law is not on our side after 5 years of trying to find alternatives without success. We know there are gaps in coverage and there will be a tower built at the end of this. We are working to ensure that it is less intrusive than what we will get if we continue to spend taxpayer money and then lose the lawsuit. We are also simultaneously working to figure out other locations to fill other gaps in coverage so that the Town is in a better position going forward.

The Town Board continues to review records and issues and consider the proposed settlement with Verizon to accept a wireless facility at 68 Stone Hill Road.  The Board will begin the review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act at a meeting on June 14, beginning at 6pm.

This settlement comes after a 5 year effort to address Verizon applications and find alternatives to fill gaps in coverage. The Town is in the unfortunate position after this effort to be embroiled in a lawsuit with Verizon after alternatives have been rejected. We believe settlement for the lesser intrusive option is in the best interest of the town but we need to review this option and hear public comment to make that determination.

More info

After the Planning Board rejected Verizon’s applications at Stone Hill and Hickory Lane and argued that tower sites in and around Indian Hill Park would be more effective and less intrusive, Verizon rejected the Town’s proposed alternatives and sued in Federal Court to try to get a judgement allowing them to construct a wireless facility at either the Hickory Lane or Stone Hill Road sites. The Federal Telecommunications Act gives municipalities very little leeway when it comes to rejecting cell tower applications, and the outcome of protracted and expensive litigation is uncertain. The Town Board has therefore agreed to consider this settlement. While the Planning Board rejected the Stone Hill Road application, the Town Board is willing to consider that with additional landscaping and further analysis of the original plan, a facility on Stone Hill Road will fill a gap in coverage and will be less intrusive than a cell tower at 91 Hickory Lane.

It seems pertinent to note that a recent survey shows that a majority of Bedford residents want to see improved cell service in the town. This is a matter of public and personal safety as well as convenience. But while the need for better cell service is an easy call, the specific locations of towers are not: the appropriate sites for wireless facilities in the Town to remedy the acknowledged gaps in coverage have been contemplated, reviewed, and debated for over four years. The Town’s goal is always to seek out the least intrusive, least environmentally impactful sites possible for these facilities, even while we acknowledge the ever-growing importance of wireless communications in all our lives. Based on the Town’s experiences over the last four years, it is evident that there is no one location that would be acceptable to all Town residents and the wireless providers that will resolve the current situation. As a result, the Town Board is moving forward with the settlement process to begin addressing this important issue.

Click here for the Memo from Town Attorney regarding the SEQRA Review of the Verizon Settlement.

Town Board Authority to Settle Lawsuit
Legal counsel has written a response to a letter regarding the Town Board’s authority to settle the instant litigation. Click here to read a copy of correspondence from the Town’s attorney.

Verizon Settlement 2022

Updated November 10, 2022

Alternative Site Balloon Test

The application by Verizon for a wireless facility on the hill behind the Bedford Post Inn (at 954 Old Post Road) may have visual implications on surrounding properties. Therefore, a balloon will be floated up to the height of the proposed monopine (or monopole) in the proposed location of the facility and photographs will be taken of the balloon from various locations. The photographs and visual simulations created from those photographs will allow the planning board to review the potential visual impact and provide the community with additional information regarding any potential impacts. Visual impact from this facility is one of many factors that determine whether a wireless facility is more or less intrusive than a wireless facility at another available locations.

The balloon test must occur when there is no rain and wind must be minimal. Due to the storm heading up the coast, Saturday, November 12, will not be a good day for a balloon test. We are keeping an eye on the weather to determine if Sunday, November 13, will provide the right conditions.  If not, the balloon test will be held on Monday, November 14.  Further information about the balloon test will be posted on this webpage the night before the balloon test is going to take place. The balloon test will occur between approximately 7:45 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. the morning of the date it occurs.

Please note, the Planning Board will begin looking at the photos at their meeting on Monday, November 14. This will not be the only opportunity for the public to see and comment on the photos. Visual renderings will be produced from some of the photos and considered by the Planning Board in December. Review of the full application and public hearings will also occur in December.

 

Updated November 3, 2022

Verizon settlement Alternative Site

 

As you may be aware, the Town of Bedford has been working to settle a lawsuit against the Town by Verizon for many months. Verizon commenced the litigation because the Planning Board did not approve two of its applications to construct a wireless facility on Stone Hill Road and on Hickory Lane. While the Town was working on a proposed settlement of the lawsuit, a potential new site has come to our attention that we believe provides better coverage and may have less of an impact on the surrounding properties.  We have asked the court in the federal litigation to provide additional time to explore this option as a possible site for the settlement and are proceeding with the review of this site. Click here for Verizon’s application.

At this time there are still outstanding issues that need to be investigated and resolved; however, due to stringent court deadlines in the lawsuit, the Planning Board intends to review Verizon’s initial application for a wireless facility on property located at 954 Old Post Road on Tuesday, November 1 at 8:00 p.m., to start the initial 30-day notice period under the State Environmental Quality Review Act.  This 30 day period is required before the Planning Board may make any determinations with respect to potential environmental impacts from the project.  There will not be public discussion during the meeting on November 1.  However, the Planning Board will hold a public hearing in early December and will hear public comments at that time.

The Town is cautiously optimistic that a site has been located that may be less intrusive than the Stone Hill Road or Hickory Lane sites. We hope that the coverage, visual, environmental, and other elements of the review prove this to be true so that we will have a reasonable settlement option and a facility to provide wireless coverage for cell service and communications for emergency responders.

If you would like to be on the email list to receive notice of a balloon test or upcoming public hearings, please email planning@bedfordny.gov

The balloon test will be conducted on either 11/12 or 11/13 depending on the wind/weather.

If you would like to request photos of the balloon test be taken from your property, sign up here by 11/7/22.

 

July 8, 2022

Verizon settlement to Involve Planning Board

 

The Town Board met on Wednesday, July 6, 2022 in Executive Session to receive an update and legal advice regarding the lawsuit by Verizon against the Town over the Town’s rejection of Verizon’s applications to build wireless facilities at Hickory Lane and Stone Hill Road. The Town Board decided to pause the settlement underway to invite the Planning Board to participate in the process.

This Town Board decision is due to a recent state court case opinion which puts at risk a settlement between a Town Board and a wireless facility company that does not include Planning Board consent. While most federal courts have held a Town Board may settle cases regarding the Federal Telecommunications Act on behalf of a Town without the consent of their Planning Board, and this was confirmed recently by the attorneys at the Association of Towns, this new court decision rejects this position. Given that a settlement would likely be held up in the state courts for an extended period of time, the Town Board will ask the Planning Board to get involved in our current settlement negotiation. The Town Board agreed that Planning Board involvement may be helpful since residents have asked for this and it gives the Town an opportunity for a fresh look at the strategy to settle for the least intrusive option before us, the review of that option, and the likelihood of our success in the lawsuit given this new court decision. It may also give us more time to explore alternatives. Planning Board review and approval of any new alternative sites for settlement would also be necessary.

This will take some time to determine the resources the Planning Board needs, provide those resources, and bring everyone up to speed. The Town Board agreed that the Planning Board will need to have legal counsel to assist them in their review of the settlement and we will find outside counsel to do this. I will continue to update the public as the timeline for all of this becomes more clear.

June 13, 2022

Overview and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

The Town Board has been asked questions about why it is in settlement negotiations and what settling a lawsuit means for future wireless facilities in town. People have asked why we won’t oppose all wireless projects or why alternatives aren’t on the table in this case. Click here for our best effort at describing where we are and answering the questions.

The Town Board is dealing with the huge challenge of settling a lawsuit with Verizon and there is no possible outcome that will not impact nearby homes and sight lines. Federal communications law is not on our side after 5 years of trying to find alternatives without success. We know there are gaps in coverage and there will be a tower built at the end of this. We are working to ensure that it is less intrusive than what we will get if we continue to spend taxpayer money and then lose the lawsuit. We are also simultaneously working to figure out other locations to fill other gaps in coverage so that the Town is in a better position going forward.

The Town Board continues to review records and issues and consider the proposed settlement with Verizon to accept a wireless facility at 68 Stone Hill Road.  The Board will begin the review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act at a meeting on June 14, beginning at 6pm.

This settlement comes after a 5 year effort to address Verizon applications and find alternatives to fill gaps in coverage. The Town is in the unfortunate position after this effort to be embroiled in a lawsuit with Verizon after alternatives have been rejected. We believe settlement for the lesser intrusive option is in the best interest of the town but we need to review this option and hear public comment to make that determination.

More info

After the Planning Board rejected Verizon’s applications at Stone Hill and Hickory Lane and argued that tower sites in and around Indian Hill Park would be more effective and less intrusive, Verizon rejected the Town’s proposed alternatives and sued in Federal Court to try to get a judgement allowing them to construct a wireless facility at either the Hickory Lane or Stone Hill Road sites. The Federal Telecommunications Act gives municipalities very little leeway when it comes to rejecting cell tower applications, and the outcome of protracted and expensive litigation is uncertain. The Town Board has therefore agreed to consider this settlement. While the Planning Board rejected the Stone Hill Road application, the Town Board is willing to consider that with additional landscaping and further analysis of the original plan, a facility on Stone Hill Road will fill a gap in coverage and will be less intrusive than a cell tower at 91 Hickory Lane.

It seems pertinent to note that a recent survey shows that a majority of Bedford residents want to see improved cell service in the town. This is a matter of public and personal safety as well as convenience. But while the need for better cell service is an easy call, the specific locations of towers are not: the appropriate sites for wireless facilities in the Town to remedy the acknowledged gaps in coverage have been contemplated, reviewed, and debated for over four years. The Town’s goal is always to seek out the least intrusive, least environmentally impactful sites possible for these facilities, even while we acknowledge the ever-growing importance of wireless communications in all our lives. Based on the Town’s experiences over the last four years, it is evident that there is no one location that would be acceptable to all Town residents and the wireless providers that will resolve the current situation. As a result, the Town Board is moving forward with the settlement process to begin addressing this important issue.

Click here for the Memo from Town Attorney regarding the SEQRA Review of the Verizon Settlement.

Town Board Authority to Settle Lawsuit
Legal counsel has written a response to a letter regarding the Town Board’s authority to settle the instant litigation. Click here to read a copy of correspondence from the Town’s attorney.

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