SENATOR KLEIN, ELECTEDS: Cell Tower Plan Withdrawn; City Island Residents Win

Jeffrey D. Klein

May 20, 2011


T-Mobile Pledges to Work With Community on Plan B After Meeting With Klein, Vacca, Benedetto 

CITY ISLAND, N.Y. – State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein, (D-Bronx/ Westchester), today declared victory for the residents of City Island after T-Mobile announced it was withdrawing plans to construct a cell phone tower on top of a local building.

The cell phone company had been seeking a variance from the New York City Board of Standards of Appeals to erect a 25-foot-tall tower on top of 454 City Island Ave. The proposal faced overwhelming community opposition.

“This was the wrong size and the wrong place,” Senator Klein said. “I am glad that T-Mobile listened to the community and withdrew its plan that would have stood in sharp contrast to the character of City Island. I thank Councilman Jimmy Vacca and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto for working with me on this very important issue.”

The decision by the cell phone company was made after they met with Senator Klein and other community leaders. T-Mobile withdrew the plans and pledged to work with City Island residents and its elected representatives to draft a new, mutually acceptable, proposal.

"I think T-Mobile saw the writing on the wall" said Councilman Vacca. “My fellow elected officials and I sent letter after letter to BSA documenting how this project would have undercut the character of City Island, undermined the local zoning, and rewarded a landlord who has numerous outstanding building violations. T-Mobile's withdrawal sends a signal that people who think they can put a cell phone tower anywhere they want better think again.”

In total, the structure would have stood at 56 feet and would have clashed with the low-slung, nautical character that defines City Island. Additionally, the building has been subjected to building code violations by the city Building Department and had a stop work order levied against it.

"This is a nice victory in our battle against cell phone towers on City Island, I hope there are many more,” said Assemblyman Benedetto.

Senator Klein sponsors legislation that would protect communities from similar situations by regulating how these towers are constructed and where they could be placed.