WELD — The Board of Appeals on Tuesday sent AT&T’s permit to build a 190-foot cellphone tower back to the Planning Board with instructions to provide more information.

Ted Small, attorney for AT&T, speaks Tuesday at the Weld Board of Appeals meeting. Video screenshot

Among the issues it cited are determining if the company has right, title and interest in the property, and clarifying its written findings. Planners are also instructed to hold further proceedings as it deems necessary or appropriate.

The 190-foot tower would be across from Lost Cove, just before Fire Lane 17 and beyond the Weld Inn on the Phillips Road. AT&T has leased the site from Kevin and Holly Cochran.

The Board of Appeals met Jan. 11 to consider the request filed by the Weld Cell Phone Tower Information Committee.

AT&T’s building permit application, which was approved by planners in September 2020, did not appear to include a copy of the lease agreement, Agnieszka Dixon, Board of Appeals attorney with Drummond-Woodsum, said last week.

“The Planning Board should review it to assure right title of interest,” she said. “Without it, the Planning Board doesn’t have sound documentation.”

While it was prepared to do so, the Planning Board never addressed each of the nine standards included under Article 21 of the Building Ordinance, Board of Appeals Chairman Sean Minear noted last week.

Federal telecommunication law prohibits local zoning ordinances from keeping telecommunication companies from closing gaps in service, Ted Small, the attorney representing AT&T said at the July 29 informational meeting via Zoom. The building permit application was submitted July 27.

The deadline for acting on the application is Jan. 31, according to federal law.

“I’m not sure AT&T will extend it beyond that,” Small said Tuesday. “I’m not ruling it out.”

“The Planning Board and the town’s attorney will have to discuss it,” Dixon said. If the Planning Board’s decision is again appealed it is very unlikely to happen before Jan. 31, she said.

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