A Cellular Tower in your neighborhood?

Nearly 200 Venetians have signed a petition against a battery of T-Mobil cell towers planned for 658 Venice Blvd.

The neighbors are concerned about health hazards connected with the tower radiation, yet the telecommunications corporations are so powerful that they have passed a federal law that cities cannot deny cell tower installation for health reasons.

Saam Gabbay has spearheaded the quick campaign against the towers. He states that in conversations with the city council office, the following has come to light:

1) If a company obtains approval to build cell towers, then all other cell providers can build towers on that same building without further approval or public notice.

2) The federal courts have ruled that local cities may not consider health risks or impacts when building towers. Even if at a later date the laws change, current laws prohibit cities from considering health as an issue in these matters.

3) Unless we find a new and unique tactic, the only legitimate ways to fight the tower are to find out if it is breaking building codes, is unsightly (which t-mobile can modify), is damaging wildlife, or is unnecessary (meaning, there is no service gap in that area).

4) Councilmember Bill Rosendahl feels the same way as the community in that the true impact of cell towers is in question, but the law prohibits health discussions by the city. A deputy from his office says that they very very rarely win against the cell companies, about one or two cases in 60.

5) T-Mobil has not presented its plans to the council office but staff thinks that it’s 6-10 poles scattered on the roof in a grid.

6) Council staff said they did not have access to the state law that regulates cell towers, especially in the case of “adequate coverage.”

7) Gabbay was told that “towers are everywhere.” That many towers are included in new constructions and that when there is a public notice for new construction, towers are bundled without the knowledge of residents.

8) The city does not have a map of tower locations.

Posted: Thu - November 1, 2007 at 02:13 PM