West Tisbury zoning board approves cell tower installation

The West Tisbury zoning board of appeals (ZBA) approved a special permit on June 13 for Verizon Wireless to construct a 66-foot tower on private property owned by Robert Doane off New Lane.

Julie Keefe, ZBA administrator, said the cellular tower, or monopine, will resemble a pine tree. Ms. Keefe did not know exactly when the tower would be erected.

Mr. Doane, a resident of West Tisbury, told The Times last August that he had signed a contract with Verizon about 15 months earlier to lease part of his property in a heavily wooded area for the tower. Mr. Doane said Verizon wrote to him about four years ago with the proposal, which the company said is needed to boost cell phone coverage in West Tisbury’s dead zone.

Last month, Verizon Wireless announced plans to join a distributed antenna system (DAS) that the American Tower Corporation (ATC) built in Aquinnah and Chilmark and powered up last year. West Tisbury had considered a deal to join the ATC effort, but withdrew from the project.

DAS relies on a series of radio access nodes (RAN) connected to small antennas set on telephone poles, or poles erected for that specific purpose, to distribute cellular telephone signals. Although the range is considerably less than with taller towers, the DAS appeals to communities where a high conventional tower is unwelcome and wireless telephone service is poor.