Oradell Has a 4 Month Grace Period For Cell Towers
Moratorium issued by Council on cell towers
To the delight of borough residents, the Oradell Mayor and Council unanimously approved a moratorium on any potential cell tower applications for the next four months. The Council also abandoned Ordinance 10-10 which was first introduced in August. The ordinance, which would have outlined regulations for a construction of a cell tower will instead be replaced with a new version following the New Year.
"Basically, if an application came in today, a preliminary process would take place," Borough Attorney Andrew Oddo said following the meeting. "But it would not go before any land use board until either the end of the moratorium or it's cancelled. It moves the application into a holding pattern."
Oddo continued that the purpose of the moratorium is to allow the borough time while it makes changes to the ordinance, rather than have an application go before either the Planning or Zoning Board and then have portions of the application heard again once the changes were made.
"This avoids the waste of time and money," Oddo said.
With the moratorium now in place, the Council will begin a search for an independent consultant to assist with writing a new ordinance. While there is currently a 90-foot cell tower located at the DPW yard, Verizon has proposed several sites to the Council for a 150-foot tower along the Kinderkamack Road corridor. Among the most recent suggestions was a cell tower concealed as a flag pole outside of Borough Hall. Verizon has not submitted an application to the borough's Building Department at this time.
But the community has been outspoken against a cell tower at Borough Hall, which sits between the Church of the Annunciation, Reformed Church of Oradell and its nursery school and Oradell Public School.
And the core group of residents, comprised of Chris Gwynn, Nancy Shapiro, and Larry and Lorraine Bogart were grateful for the news of the moratorium.
"I'm glad to see the moratorium issued on the cell tower ordinance," Gwynn, who leads the Reformed Church of Oradell nursery school said. "This will allow you [the Council] time to utilize those experts in the community who work so diligently in the field."
"I hope that with the moratorium and guidance, we will be relentless in doing what is best for the town," Shapiro added.
Larry Bogart thanked the Council for agreeing to work with the residents, and expressed hope that all parties can continue working together.
A newly drafted ordinance is currently being reviewed by the borough's planner, engineer, Planning Board attorney and Zoning Board attorney. While the draft ordinance is reviewed, the Council will determine the feasiblity of retaining an independent expert sometime next month.
No future decisions on the newly drafted ordinance or a consultant will be made until after the Council's reorganization meeting when Councilmen-elect Garrie Murphy and Eric Shuler are sworn into office.