Oak Hill Park, Newton MA Towers Nixed

Scott Fybush scott@fybush.com
Wed Jul 14 23:42:22 EDT 2004

At 10:30 PM 7/14/2004 -0400, Dan Strassberg wrote:
>Technically, the 1510 site looks quite workable for 1200. But the NIMBY
>problems would probably be even more severe. The population within the 1 V/m
>"blanketing" contour (or even the 7V/m contour, which consutling engineers
>consider to be more realistic for blanketing) is much greater because the
>population density is higher near Waverley Sq than it is in Oak Hill. If a
>different site is the answer, the thing for CCU to do would be to sell 1200
>to Entercom and watch to see how they resolve the problem. A move of 850 to
>the WRKO site in Burlington might still be possible and would free up the
>WEEI site in Needham for WKOX and WRCA. It's unclear whether Needham would
>work for WUNR--at least with the proposed 20 kW. Higher power for WUNR could
>necessitate more towers. And don't overlook the NIMBY problems in Burlington
>and Needham. My guess is that CCU will take this to court and the legal
>battle will drag on for years more. It wouldn't surpise me if what finally
>ended the case was the demise of the AM band. Remember, as long as the court
>option is in play and no towers are coming down or going up, the NIMBYs are

Here's what I think (beyond a big "I told you so" to some acquaintances at 
CCU who may have thought this was more of a sure thing than it turned out 
to be...):

Having read the statement from the Newton Alderpersons, I think they're on 
semi-weak ground in one way - they seem to believe that they have some sort 
of regulatory power over the RF that the site will put out. Legally (and 
IANAL, but this I know) they don't. The best they can do is approve or deny 
building permits.

If I had been the one handling the whole thing, I would have gone about it 
in an altogether different way. I would have filed the building permit 
applications solely under the guise of WUNR. I might even have gone so far 
as to have paid an engineer to cobble together an app for WUNR that called 
for nothing more than 5 kw DA-2, albeit with the five 199' towers instead 
of the two taller ones. THAT application would have been much harder for 
the city to have denied, since it wouldn't have increased the RF to the 
neighbors and it would have reduced the visual impact of the tall towers.

Only once those five short sticks were built, along with the appropriately 
oversized buildings to service them, would I have filed the apps for the 
WUNR power increase and the WRCA/WKOX moves. At that point, it's pure 
federal jurisdiction and there's not a thing Newton could have done to stop 

Dirty pool? No more so than stopping a perfectly good application by 
claiming that it might "affect the mental health" of the neighbors.

(It is, of course, now entirely too late to do anything of the sort; the 
well is poisoned in THAT neighborhood for now and all eternity.)


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