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Cell Tower Permit Renewal at Keyspan Building Draws Questions

Mineola Village Board approves extension of construction permit for AT&T.

Telephone giant AT&T is reportedly taking a position of wait and see regarding the installation of several cellular antennas on the rooftop of 250 Old Country Road in Mineola, which is otherwise known as the Keyspan building.

During its meeting on September 5 at the , the granted a 90-day extension of a building and electrical permit to AT&T/ Cingular for 250 Old Country Road. The permits were originally issued Jan. 30, 2012 and expired on July 30.

“It is uncommon to leave it this late,” village building superintendent Dan Whalen said of the renewal application. “We would receive it before this.”

While the building is unoccupied, the village board is currently considering whether or not to grant a developer at the site.

According to Whalen, AT&T has not installed the updated antennas. When the company upgrades the antennas, the village code requires them to come before the village board again for a permit.

Trustee Lawrence Werther at first suggested denying the extension because the company did not file the extension in a timely manner.

“I don’t see that there’s really any harm in issuing this,” Whalen said. “The department and the board has the authority by way of the code to rescind any permit out there for any reason they see fit; that would be in opposition to something else that is going on,” referring to the development.

Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira suggested approving the $585 renewal, noting that in the past the village board has done so with other expired permits since he has been on the board.

“Not often, but we have done it,” he said. “it’s not like it’s expired for 8 months; it expired on July 30. We’ve only had one meeting since then, this is the very next meeting. No harm, no foul, we give out 90-day extensions all the time. Why are we going to hold this particular applicant?”

Whalen said that the company would have had to have made the original application at least 30 days before the board approved the permit, placing the date sometime in late 2011 that the village first received the initial paperwork.

“It’s up to them whether they put all this money into this and in 6 months they demolish the building and they lose or, I think what they’re doing is probably trying to extend that and see what happens with that building in terms of what this board decides and I don’t blame them for that,” Pereira said. “Why would they do the work if they know within 6 weeks or 2 months they are going to become obsolete?”

Codes states that if the building changes ownership and there is no provision for the cell towers to be carried over in that sale contract, then a new agreement for the towers would have to be put in place with the new owners and the village.

“To get a building permit they would need the consent of the owner of the property,” village attorney Ben Truncale said. “Right now the owner’s one person, eventually it’s going to be somebody else, so before that construction were to take place they would need to get permission of the owner at that point.”

SLJ September 14, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Looks like the Building Dept. picks and chooses what it wants to enforce when it comes to permits....or the village code for that matter.
Cypher September 15, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Jesse, get it straight. It's not random pick and choose. It's how much kick back or pay off they get.
jo September 15, 2012 at 10:28 PM
I have had various dealings with the Building Dept. and find the personel fair and honest

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