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Thread: Burbank, CA: Local NIMBY's form to fight wireless T-Mobile tower

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    Burbank, CA: Local NIMBY's form to fight wireless T-Mobile tower

    Source: http://www.burbankleader.com/news/tn...,6113565.story

    By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com
    April 1, 2012


    Several Burbank residents met Wednesday to organize a fight against a planned wireless telecommunications facility atop a nearby church. Their battle includes filing three appeals of a decision by the Planning Board allowing the project to move forward.

    Board members approved the facility last month, despite the opposition of several residents living near the Little White Church on Avon Street.

    The Burbank City Council is scheduled to hear the appeals on May 22.

    One of the main issues for residents is that the project will set a precedent.

    The T-Mobile project is the first wireless telecommunications facility proposed in a single-family residential area in Burbank since the City Council approved an ordinance in September allowing such a move, as long as the equipment is on a structure, such as a church or school.

    The facility's 12 antennas will be placed inside a steeple-like structure on top of the church, while other equipment will be installed on the first floor of the two-story building.

    T-Mobile officials have said the equipment is needed to fill a service gap in the area and improve existing service. Other locations were considered, such as a Petco sign to the north, but height issues knocked that option out of the running and the church was the only viable option, T-Mobile officials said.

    Lawrence Huber said he doesn't want the facility because it will hinder his ability to rent a house he owns next to the church. Huber, along with his wife, Laurel, filed one of the appeals.

    He said he will have to disclose the proximity of the antennas to prospective tenants, making it more difficult to rent the home.

    Their daughter, Kathryn Huber-Merlo, currently leases the house and has also filed an appeal.

    She said she's concerned about how the facility will affect her young daughter's health. If the facility is installed, she and her family will move, she said, leaving her father with a vacant house.

    Huber-Merlo and her husband gave up their cell phones three years ago because of health concerns about radio emissions.

    “That was our personal choice,” she said.

    However, she argued, they had no choice regarding the installation of the cellular equipment.

    “You've taken away that choice from me and imposed it on me, and I don't appreciate that,” Huber-Merlo said of the commission-level decision.

    She acknowledged that she can't use health concerns in her appeal argument because the City Council can't take those issues into consideration. Federal law prohibits state and local governments from regulating the placement, construction or modification of wireless facilities on the basis of environmental effects of radio frequency emissions

    Huber-Merlo said her neighbors are researching other arguments, such as possible noise pollution from two air-conditioning units that are part of the project.

    Residents also said they are worried the facility will drive down property values and could harm students at two nearby schools — Bret Harte Elementary and Luther Burbank Middle School.

    Burbank Unified Supt. Stan Carrizosa has been contacted by a school parent concerned about the situation, said district spokeswoman Kimberley Clark.

    In an email response to the parent, Carrizosa said the school district has no jurisdiction over the placement of the facility at the church because it's not being installed on school property.

    He also stressed that school officials are always concerned about the safety of students.

    “Having said this, the placement of cell towers near schools is fairly common across the county and state,” he said. “The [Federal Communications Commission] and several other agencies and institutions have studied the impact of cell tower frequencies and found them to be safe.

    “Additionally, there are reports that demonstrate that districts and neighborhoods where towers have been installed have had no negative impact.”

    During the next few months, opponents plan to rally around their cause with yard signs, a letter-writing campaign and petition drive, T-shirts and banners.

    At the neighborhood meeting, Huber-Merlo had this message for fellow opponents: “We can do this.”

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    does att and verizon received this kind of treatment when they try to place towers? all i hear is bad PR towards tmobile when they try to increase coverage.

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    Im ok with NIMBY people, as long as a condition of blocking a tower they are not allowed to own a cellphone at all.
    “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”


    ― George Orwell

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    Wirelessly posted (HTC Nexus One: Opera/9.80 (X11; Linux zbov; U; en) Presto/2.10.254 Version/12.00)

    Such people deserve NOT to have ANY wireless device (including radio, TV, laptop computer, cordless phone) and ANY wireless service (including AM/FM/TV), period.



    Optimum/Cablevision

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottish Skyedance View Post
    Wirelessly posted (HTC Nexus One: Opera/9.80 (X11; Linux zbov; U; en) Presto/2.10.254 Version/12.00)

    Such people deserve NOT to have ANY wireless device (including radio, TV, laptop computer, cordless phone) and ANY wireless service (including AM/FM/TV), period.
    Radio, tv, lol. You forgot microwave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by money69 View Post
    Im ok with NIMBY people, as long as a condition of blocking a tower they are not allowed to own a cellphone at all.
    They are usually the first people to scream "I can't get service. I can't call 911! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!" UGH....!!

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    They want the cell towers, just 20 miles away from them, 20 feet off the ground and disguised as invisible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by terryjohnson16 View Post
    Do AT&T and Verizon receive this kind of treatment when they try to place towers? All I hear is bad PR towards tmobile when they try to increase coverage.

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    Not here, in fact they seem to get things through pretty easily, both colocations (which is 95% of their sites in our area) and new sites. The same goes for AT&T, Verizon and Metro PCS, however, U.S. Cellular seems to have the worst lucky lately in getting new sites approved, and has had 2 shot down completely in the past 2 years. I think one reason is USCC seems overall unwilling to work with the Mendocino County Planning Commission (who has to approve ALL new sites, colocations and panel/microwave dish additions), or cities like Ukiah, Willits, Fort Bragg and Point Arena (the only 4 incorporated towns in the county). We live in a mountainous and heavily forested area, so putting sites where they either won't be seen or barely seen is not that hard, and they will even paint Monopoles a wood color to blend in. We are also seeing more and more MonoPine's (Monopole's that look like Pine Trees) in our area, and you'd be hard pressed to pick them out in a heavy stand of trees. We do have our share of NIMBY's though, like any area, and like I said USCC seems to tick them all off lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by terryjohnson16 View Post
    does att and verizon received this kind of treatment when they try to place towers? all i hear is bad PR towards tmobile when they try to increase coverage.

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using HowardForums
    Verizon and at&t usually use leasing companies for new towers. They see companies like "crown castle" and "cellco" etc.. not at&t. Unlike t-mobile who builds a lot themselves. When the public notices say some random company, i have a feeling most people pass right through it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danska View Post
    Verizon and at&t usually use leasing companies for new towers. They see companies like "crown castle" and "cellco" etc.. not at&t. Unlike t-mobile who builds a lot themselves. When the public notices say some random company, i have a feeling most people pass right through it.

    Up here they did almost all of their rollout using CoLocations, and ONLY resort to building their own (like they are going to do with a new tower in Leggett, which is approved but not yet built) if they have no other choice. By the way, that new site in Leggett will give that town and area of CA 1 and US Hwy 101 (Leggett sits near the junction of both) the first GSM service it's ever had. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leggett,_California

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