AT&T withdraws plan for Scituate cell tower

By Jessica Bartlett
Globe Correspondent / July 10, 2011

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The land at Wampatuck Elementary School will remain without a cellphone tower, following AT&T’s decision to withdraw its application from Scituate’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

Although the wireless provider did not give a reason for pulling the tower application, Zoning Board chairman Peter Morin said he doubts it resulted from the community criticism the project was starting to receive.

“I’m almost 99.9 percent positive that the community’s reaction had nothing to do with this, and rarely does,’’ said Morin, who is also a lawyer who has represented wireless providers in zoning hearings in the past.

According to Meaghan Wims, a spokeswoman for AT&T, celltower siting is a long and complicated process, and the application was withdrawn for many reasons.

Although she wouldn’t say whether community objections had any part in the withdrawal, she did say that Scituate had not been ruled out for a tower.

“It’s an evolving process,’’ she said. “We’re constantly evaluating best places for cell sites.’’

Even though the application for Wampatuck was withdrawn, almost two dozen residents showed up to a hearing in late June to discuss the tower.

One resident complained that the withdrawal means his cell service wouldn’t improve, but most were concerned about the health risks, aesthetic consequences, and property values associated with putting a tower at that location.