12 Verizon antennas now proposed for Rehoboth Boardwalk

If Rehoboth Beach commissioners continue to delay approving Verizon’s proposed cellular antennas on the boardwalk, the communications company may not need new antennas along the beach at all.

That’s not really the case, but during a commissioners workshop on July 2, Bonnie Metz, director of state government affairs at Verizon, said the number of proposed antennas along the boardwalk is now 12. Less than two years ago, the company contacted the city to install 18 antennas along the promenade.

Metz was present at the request of the city council to take part in a discussion about the placement of the proposed antennas on the west side of the promenade instead of the east side.

Mayor Stan Mills proposed the relocation of boardwalk antennas. He said he liked the idea because, for the most part, the poles weren’t in the line of sight of people walking down the boardwalk. Also, he said, it would mean that the Boardwalk’s light poles won’t be of different styles for some time as communications companies change lights from one style to another.

Commissioners Pat Coluzzi and Richard Byrne said they liked the idea that the antennas are on the west side.

If it were allowed, Verizon wouldn’t be the first company to have an antenna on the west side of the boardwalk. Last year AT&T installed an antenna at the end of Stockley Street, a few feet from the boardwalk.

Verizon suggests fewer antennas, but there’s a catch – most of them will likely be more than twice that, 38 feet, because they would be installed on Delmarva Power utility poles, or on new utility poles if Delmarva Power equipment didn’t allow it for colocation. The antennas proposed for the east side of the boardwalk would have been about 15 feet tall and would have replaced the existing lights with new ones that were almost identical.

Commissioner Jay Lagree said he was initially excited about the option of antennas on the west side of the boardwalk but changed his mind when he saw plans included antennas on the 35 foot masts.

It’s completely different from what he thought, and it’s worrying that the city isn’t getting decorative poles, Lagree said.

Verizon originally planned to install the Boardwalk antennas before the start of this summer season, but the city didn’t approve the design of the decorative lights that would replace the current lights because all of the electronics weren’t housed in the new lights. Metz said the company would like to have the antennas installed by next summer season.

Suggested locations for Verizon’s 12 boardwalk antennas

Starting at the south end of the boardwalk, these are the updated locations for Verizon’s new cell phone installations:

Prospectus street – Existing power pole location

St. Lorenz Street – new mast, east of the last existing power mast

Norfolk Street – new mast, east of the last existing power mast

New Schlossstrasse – new mast, north side of the road

Hickman Street – existing mast location

Brooklyn Avenue – new mast, east of the last existing power mast

Wilmington Avenue – existing mast location

Baltimore Avenue, boardwalk – East side of the boardwalk, above the existing volleyball light

Maryland Avenue – new mast, east of the last existing power mast

Olive alley – new pole, near Obie’s by the Sea

Virginia Avenue – new mast, on the south side of the road

Surfside place – existing mast location

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