CRANFORD - A special meeting for the proposed Union County College cell tower has been scheduled for Monday, August 19th at 7:45 p.m. in room 107/Council Chambers of the Cranford Municipal Building, located at 8 Springfield Avenue, in Cranford.

The township’s Zoning Board of Adjustment had been expected to consider the application during their regular meeting on July 8, but the board delayed the public hearing after hearing from attorneys representing the parties involved.

“We are willing to adjourn the hearing tonight,” said Gregory Meese, attorney for the applicants Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile LLC and New Cingular Wireless PCS on July 8. “We don’t want to have any perception out there that we're looking to rush.”

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Meese said he agreed to the adjournment after receiving a letter from attorney Robert Simon. The letter stated that Simon’s clients, who oppose the construction, did not have the adequate time to prepare for the meeting, Meese said.

The proposal would have the tower built on the border of Cranford and Westfield. The application calls for a monopole cell tower designed as a “faux tree” with branches reaching 148 feet tall, the application filed with Cranford’s Zoning Board says.

“The applicants each have significant gaps and other deficiencies in their networks in the area that includes the Union County College Cranford Campus,” the application says. The telecommunications companies say they will demonstrate the proposed cell tower is the best way to address the coverage gaps in their network.

The proposal has drawn the ire of both residents in Cranford and neighboring Westfield, who have formed a group opposing plans for the cell tower.

“UCC/Verizon’s cell tower will have a detrimental visual impact to Cranford and Westfield residential neighborhoods and schools surrounding the campus. Verizon is capable of wireless coverage without installing a cell tower,” the group says on its Change.org page.

The full application is posted on the website of the Township of Cranford at this link.