Better Reception on the Way: Zoning Grants AT&T Permission to Use St. Francis Church Steeple

Following formal approval on April 1 by the Charlestown Neighborhood Council (CNC), the Boston Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) approved placing a cell phone tower by AT&T at St. Francis Church on Bunker Hill Street.

There was no opposition to the proposal at the March 31 community meeting that was held prior to the monthly meeting by the CNC and CNC board member Dave Whelan called the meeting a ‘love fest’.

“There were no concerns from the community what so ever,” said Whelan. “The cell tower proposed will be placed inside the church’s steeple so there will be no disruption to sight lines.”

Charlestown’s preservation society also signed off on the project citing no disruption to the church’s historic architecture.

St. Francis in return will receive monthly payments for the use of the steeple. However, that figure was not released but it was one of the reasons for community support.

“It’s a win win for the neighborhood,” said Whelan. “The church is going to get some money and the neighborhood will have better cell phone reception.”

The cell phone tower will be placed behind the louvers of the steeple and will not be visible from the street.  AT&T  is seeking to boost reception in the small area of Bunker Hill, Greene and Medford Streets.

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