A plan for a new cellphone tower in Washington Township got the go-ahead from the Planning Board Wednesday night.
Board members voted to approve the plan for a shared 120-foot cell tower to be built on the north side of the Municipal Complex at 350 Hudson Avenue.
The tower will be shared by Verizon and AT&T and include room for as many as two more wireless service carriers in the future. Any other carriers would also have to appear before the board.
Radio frequency engineers for both companies testified that the tower would fill a large coverage gap in the township.
The tower will be located in a 68-by-28-foot area surrounded by an 8-foot white vinyl fence. There will be a small building inside the fence used to house equipment for the two companies, and room for a second small building if more carriers are added to the tower in the future.
The board granted variances for the height of the fence and to allow six additional antennas on the tower — township ordinance sets the limit at 15 — as well as for some existing issues with the size of the current Municipal Complex.
Some residents who live near the site said they did not want a cell tower built there, raising concerns about a backup generator, number of antennas and the height of the tower.
"I make no bones about it," Hudson Avenue resident Sandy Philips said. "I don't want it. It'll be hideous."
The location of the tower was previously a hotly debated issue in the township.
Verizon attorney Richard Schneider said the plan was the result of much discussion with local officials.
"We've worked extensively with the township leading us to where we are this evening," Scheider said.