By JENNIFER AMATO
NORTH BRUNSWICK — To accommodate an increasing need for telephone and data services, a monopole and associated antennas have been approved for the Amtrak rail yard in North Brunswick.
A new 150-foot monopole for AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless will be constructed in the same vicinity as an existing monopole.
Experts testified on behalf of the three wireless companies during the July 19 North Brunswick Zoning Board meeting, reiterating the stress on the current pole on Adams Lane that currently serves AT&T, T-Mobile and Amtrak.
Radio-frequency engineer Glenn Pierson of PierCon Solutions said that T-Mobile will serve the new Panera restaurant at the MainStreetNB project on Route 1, the Renaissance housing development and other parts of Routes 1 and 130. He said AT&T needs to increase coverage slightly to the south. Verizon, which will be new to the site, currently has a cell tower at North Brunswick Volunteer Fire Co. No. 2 on Route 130, servicing the areas around the Renaissance shopping center, Community Park and Church Lanes.
He said the companies need more fiber to handle data “that’s growing at a very high rate.”
“All the data in the network is trending up, and this is going flat because it can’t handle it,” Pierson said.
Mike Breen of Price, Meese, Shulman & D’Arminio said that Amtrak, which owns the property, had already required AT&T and T-Mobile to remove some of the equipment because of the overload.
“Right now it’s between two tracks so getting access is difficult,” professional engineer Edward Iamicelli said of not being able to relocate or reinforce the existing pole.
Therefore, the applicants had to seek site plan and bulk variances for the 13-acre property and a right-of-way. The 75-foot front-yard setback requirement was proposed as 66 feet, while no additional landscaping was proposed.
“You do have residential properties that would have visibility if it weren’t for the very, very dense buffer around the property,” professional planner Timothy Kronk said.
Using an aerial view from October 2014 compared to a computer simulation of the future of the property, Kronk said Jared Drive is 845 feet away, Amy Drive is 587 feet away and the Commerce Drive and Renaissance Boulevard areas will be protected visually.
He said the deciduous trees in the autumn that were de-leafed still limited visibility into the complex.
The Zoning Board unanimously approved the application.
Contact Jennifer Amato at email@example.com.