The Sharon Springs Joint Planning Board Wednesday gave its OK to a third cell tower in the Town of Sharon, this one off Parsons Road near the Wal-Mart Distribution Center.
Following a public hearing that began in September, the JBP unanimously approved the application from APC Towers LLC for Verizon Wireless for a 110-foot monopole.
Neighbors continued to question the need for the tower, but after completing the SEQRA, the JPB found no issues of concern.
Jeff Davis, attorney for Barclay Damon, which is representing APC, said again that the tower is needed to fill in gaps in Verizon's wireless coverage along about a three-quarter mile stretch of Route 20.
It would also allow Verizon to offload some of the pressure on its towers behind Sharon Springs Garage and Sharon Springs Central School, both of which are projected to exceed capacity as soon as 2016 because of the demand from cell phones, and iPad and other heavy data users, he said.
Mr. Davis said the tower would be unmanned and there will be no lighting or significant vibrations.
At the September hearing on the tower, neighbors questioned the tower's impact on their property values.
Mr. Davis said Wednesday that a look at property values in nearby Esperance and Carlisle showed no impact from cell towers.
Because he has a cell tower on his property at his business, Sharon Springs Garage, JPB member John Rodden Jr. was asked to recuse himself from voting on the Parsons Road or Empie tower special use permit.
JBP members Mary Ann Larkin and Ray Parsons assured neighbors that they did "due diligence" on the project and it's not something the JPB takes lightly.