NO Orchard Residential Cell Antennas in Concord, CA!!

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We have learned that the CBR Group on behalf of ExteNet Systems for T-Mobile Wireless has applied to install ten cellular antennas on existing PG&E poles in our Orchard neighborhood in Concord. On the poles, ExteNet would install one antenna and diplexer concealed within a radome mounted on a "shrouded" side-arm bracket at approximately 18’ 1” AGL. Within a pole-mounted equipment shroud, ExteNet would install two RRUs, a fiber splice box, and a PG&E smart meter. Below the equipment shroud, ExteNet would install an emergency disconnect switch. Next to some of the poles, ExteNet proposes to install an additional new ground-mounted electric meter flanked by two steel and concrete bollards.

We have analyzed this installation and have concluded that this installation is undesirable to our neighborhood and to Concord, for all of the reasons below.

1. Please sign this petition and pass it on via email or Facebook (no monetary donation is necessary).
2. Attend the City Council Meeting on 11/28/17, at 6:15 PM and speak up!! 
3. Attend the 11/29/17 Zoning Administrator Hearing at 9:00 AM and tell the Zoning Administrators you don't want the antennas! Every voice/body counts!!! They are likely to make final decisions at this meeting!! It is critical that we all attend and voice relevant objections. 

Both meetings are held in the Council Chamber. 1950 Parkside Drive, Concord CA. http://cityofconcord.org/about/calendar/

 Concord's General Plan reads in "Policy LU-9.1.5: Require utilities to be placed underground or screened from public view. This policy is intended for telecommunication lines and electric distribution systems and related ancillary facilities, and would not apply to solar panels. Using underground vaults and screening for exterior transformers and other types of utility equipment can reduce visual impacts. "
We feel that this 2030 goal for all Concord neighborhoods will be unattainable for those with wireless antennas on above-ground utility poles. We believe that this is a direct contradiction of the General Plan.
In addition, following recent news reports that state that PG&E names third-party wires and equipment on their poles for causing the recent, most-fatal in CA history, Northern CA fires, we feel that placing more equipment on already heavily-loaded poles will increase fire danger in our neighborhood and that moving utility lines underground is more urgent than ever.

Property values are likely to decline for properties with antennas in close vicinity. This will have a direct impact on property tax income for the city. It will also make Concord less desirable as a city for potential buyers.
The National Association of Realtors reported that based on a study by the National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy (NISLAPP), 94% of buyers surveyed said they would pay less for a property located near a cell tower or antenna. Furthermore, 79% of buyers surveyed said that under no circumstances would they ever purchase or rent a property within a few blocks of a cell tower or antennas.
The NYTimes reported that proximity of cell antennas and towers have a negative impact on property values – an estimated 10% decline for homes close to the antenna or tower, and Nolo.com reports of litigation against cell phone tower installations related to declining property values, which is hard evidence of the real decline in property values.
Any feature in close proximity to a home that is deemed potentially undesirable needs to be disclosed in the listing of a home for sale, as mandated by California real estate law. Given the material percentage of buyers who consider an antenna or cell tower undesirable, this antenna would need to be disclosed in homes listed for sale in the neighborhood, materially reducing property values in our neighborhood, but which also affect all Concord neighborhoods since real estate appraisals are done by home sale prices from similar homes in Concord as a whole.

Here are links to these and more: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/07/25/cell-towers-antennas-problematic-for-buyers http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/realestate/29Lizo.html http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/emf-radiofrequency-exposure-from-cell-32210-2.html http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140703005726/en/Survey-National-Institute-Science-Law-Public-Policy#.VNRBPp3F-So

Research shows that the equipment will emit a constant humming sound comparable to an air conditioning unit running on high. Though this might be in compliance with Concord noise ordinance, it is not compliant with the General Plan. Principle LU-1.1: Preserve and Enhance Neighborhood Character and all of its points, including: "Policy LU-1.1.5: Identify opportunities for public/private cooperation and City actions for the mitigation of noise, traffic, and other potential conflicts between commercial uses, multi-family residential uses, and single-family residential neighborhoods." Our Orchard neighborhood is recognized for its large yards, many of which are planted in California natives and provide critically needed suburban habitat and food to wildlife populations including the Cedar Waxwing, and other varieties of resident and migratory birds, along with its mature trees with their rustling leaves. All these characteristic neighborhood nature sights and sounds would be drowned out by the equipment. It will sound and feel like an industrial area.

Although the equipment would be "shrouded and painted" to match the underlying wood pole, the bulky equipment will nevertheless increase the general visibility of the pole, adding visual blight to the neighborhood. In addition, the installations would require the posting of warning signs as mandated by California General Order 95, making the installation of the antenna clearly visible and further negatively impacting the aesthetics of the neighborhood.
The proposed location and design is not compliant with sections 18.205.080, 18.205.090.A, 18.205.090.G or 18.205.100.A of the Concord Development Code because it would be placed within 300 feet and immediately in front of residential dwellings, the proposed equipment would generally increase the overall visibility of the existing pole and other strategies for concealment have not been incorporated by the applicant. Some of these antennas are as close as 25 feet to homes and bedrooms.

At the first Zoning Hearing on 10/23/2017, four of the permits were approved.

Five are currently recommended for denial and one was continued until the next Concord Zoning Hearing on 11/29/2017 at 9 am.

Click these links for the agenda of the last hearings:

http://ci.concord.ca.us/citygov/agendas/za/2017/10232017.pdf

http://ci.concord.ca.us/citygov/agendas/za/2017/10252017.pdf

Neighbors in other cities, including Piedmont, Moraga, and Palo Alto are resisting as well. Here are their stories:

www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/19/palo-alto-residents-oppose-verizons-plan-to-add-92-cell-antennas-in-neighborhoods/

https://www.change.org/p/the-cbr-group-stop-verizon-wireless-no-cell-antennas-near-homes-and-schools/u/21538294

https://www.change.org/p/the-cbr-group-stop-verizon-wireless-no-cell-antennas-near-homes-and-schools

https://www.change.org/p/piedmont-planning-commission-no-piedmont-residential-cell-towers

Based on all the above reasons, we the homeowners of Concord strongly object to the installation of the antennas. We further recommend to the city council and the planning division that all such applications be denied to protect all our home values.

Inform yourself and use relevant information to express your concerns! View this Web link on YouTube. You can quickly scan through to see specific pages, or hear the entire Webinar.

Very useful and informative Current information!

Cell Tower and Small Cell Law: A Regulatory and Transactional Primer

from BBK Municipal Law Webinar Series, September 20, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cs7V-tBNJ0Y

 

 WHAT YOU CAN DO:

1. Sign this petition and pass it on via email or Facebook.

2. Attend the City Council Meeting on 11/28/17, at 6:30 PM and speak up!!

3. Attend the 11/29/17 Zoning Administrator Hearing at 9:00am and tell the Zoning Administrators you don't want the antennas! Every voice/body counts!!! They are likely to make final decisions at this meeting!! It is critical that you attend and voice relevant objections.

4. Email T-Mobile's PR firm and tell them you do not approve of cell antennae near homes and schools: projects@thecbrgroup.com

5. Email Concord's Planning Division and tell them not to grant T-Mobile's permit to install these antennae:

Laura Simpson, AICP. Planning Manager. Laura.Simpson@cityofconcord.org
Frank Abejo. Principal Planner-Current Development. Frank.Abejo@cityofconcord.org
Michael Cass. Principal Planner-Long Range and Sustainability Policy. Michael.Cass@cityofconcord.org
Joan Ryan, AICP. Community Reuse Area Planner. Joan.Ryan@cityofconcord.org
G. Ryan Lenhardt. Senior Planner. Ryan.Lenhardt@cityofconcord.org
Lorna Villa, Associate Planner. Lorna.Villa@cityofconcord.org
Sarah Yuwiler, Assistant Planner. Sarah.Yuwiler@cityofconcord.org

6. Call/visit/email City Council to ask that the city call for a review on any zoning permits for cell antennae near homes and schools:

1950 Parkside Drive, MS/01
Concord, CA 94519
Phone: (925) 671-3158
CityCouncil@cityofconcord.org, Attn: (enter city council member name)

or call City Council member Ron Leone directly: 925.381.9226 (he told us he would never want this in front of his house)!!

7. File a complaint and/or make a public comment on the California Public Utility Commission's website here: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/default.aspx Tell them that you do not agree with the 2016 modification to the 1998 "Right of Way" decision because it leaves residents powerless over the placement of cell antennae within feet of their homes.

8. Write PG&E and tell them NOT to lease space on their utility poles to T-Mobile/ExteNet:
PG&E
Manager Joint Utilities Tenant Program
Lee Vaughn
1850 Gateway Blvd.
Concord, CA 94520
Attn: NO T-Mobile/ExteNet cell antennas in Concord

or call Lee Vaughn at 925-270-2729 -- this is his direct line!

9. If you would like to help organize and coordinate this effort, email Dann or Kat at antennafreeorchard@gmail.com .

This petition will be delivered to:

City of Concord Planning Division
Sarah Yuwiler
Concord CA City Council
City Council
City of Concord Planning Division
Michael Cass

 



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