|Ellen Marks, Executive Director,|
California Brain Tumor Association
by Jack O'Dwyer, odwyerpr.com, 15 September 2017
The Calif. Brain Tumor Assn. condemned passage of a bill Sept. 14 that allows proliferation of cell towers for the new 4G and 5G cellphone transmitting devices.
The Calif. Assembly voted 46-16 with 17 abstentions and the Senate voted 22-10 with 18 abstentions for a bill that forces local communities to lease their land to telecom companies for the new generation of cell towers that are needed every 5-10 houses according to some estimates. It now goes before Gov. Jerry Brown who could veto or not veto it.
CBTA said, "The burning question Gov. Brown should be asking himself as he makes a decision that could change California forever is this: If we exempt fire stations to protect firefighters, why are we allowing cell towers throughout neighborhoods, in front of preschools, schools, hidden in church steeples, on lampposts, utility poles and on most public buildings if these are too dangerous for fire stations?"
CBTA noted that the League of California Cities said the bill “unnecessarily and unconstitutionally strips local authority over public property and shuts out public input and local discretion by eliminating consideration of the aesthetic and environmental impacts of ‘small cells.’
The bill, the League said, represents “a major shift in telecommunications policy and law by requiring local governments to lease out the public’s property, cap how much cities can lease this space out for, eliminate the ability for cities to negotiate public benefits, the public’s input and full discretionary review in all communities of the state except for areas in coastal zones and historic districts, for the installation of “small cell” wireless equipment.”
Equipment Is Not “Small”
It further said, “Despite the wireless industry’s claim that the equipment would be ‘small’ in their attempt to justify this special permitting and price arrangement solely for their industry, the bill would allow for antennas as large as six cubic feet, equipment boxes totaling 35 cubic feet (larger than previous bill version of 21 cubic feet), with no size or quantity limitations for the following equipment: electric meters, pedestals, concealment elements, demarcation boxes, grounding equipment, power transfer switches, and cutoff switches.”
CBTA said 300 state cities have expressed strong opposition to SB 649, a bill designed to “fast track” the permitting of wireless and small cell telecommunications facilities in local communities. Mayors of six of California's largest cities have sent the AT&T-initiated bill’s sponsor, Senator Ben Hueso, a letter opposing the measure, said CBTA.