By Stephen Quigley
The wireless connection could be getting a little weaker in the Beacon Hill area following the Beacon Hill Architectural Commission’s (BHAC) unanimous vote to deny without prejudice a request from a wireless provider to put an antenna at 122-126 Charles Street and allowing Cingular Wireless to withdraw without prejudice their two applications for additional antennas at 19 Myrtle St. and 142-158 Charles St. at Thursday night’s monthly meeting.
In what became a heated discussion, Chairman Joel Pierce reiterated that when any antenna is visible from a public way, it immediately is under the purview of the BHAC and, as such, these applications were being denied.
On hearing this ruling, representatives from the wireless carriers were unsure of how they should proceed since, in the application at 19 Myrtle Street, the applicants were seeking to replace a previously approved antenna. Pierce told the applicant that any change to an existing public structure would trigger a new ruling from the BHAC. On hearing this, Timothy Greene from Cingular Wireless said that all antennas could be impacted on Beacon Hill.
Another wireless representative noted that a building on Charles Street and Beacon Street also has a number of antennas more clearly visible and the additional antennas that they are seeking to add are very important for both Boston Police and State Police to do their jobs.
Alpine Advisory Services seeking to put an antenna on the roof at 122-126 Charles St. had previously appeared before the BHAC in January 2016 and September 2015 concerning the same location. The representative of the company had mock-ups of an encasement for the antenna on the roof that had to be approved but still conceded that the top part of the antenna would be above the encasement.
The BHCA commissioners have requested a legal ruling from the city law staff on their decision. This matter is far from dropped according to the comments of both the applicants and the commissioners following the hearing.
The Beacon Hill Times will continue to cover this important issue to the community.