No Piedmont residential cell towers
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We have learned that Crown Castle Wireless has applied to installed nine cellular antennas in around the neighborhoods of Piedmont. It is our understanding that each installation will include two cellular radio units operating in the cellular bands ranging from 880MHz to 1.99GHz, radiated through an Amphenol high gain antenna. There would additionally be excavation at the base and a metal plate covering the hole in the ground. We have analyzed the proposed installation and have conclude that this installation is undesirable to our neighbor and to Piedmont, for the following reasons:
- The large directional antenna coupled with the external equipment and the metal plate on the sidewalk are aesthetically displeasing. In addition such installations would require 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 installation would need to be maintained and inspected regularly by field technicians, which negatively impacts the community as that area is already heavily congested with both foot and car traffic. These routine maintenance, inspection, and repair sessions would magnify the congestion and create a nuisance to the community.
- The application by Crown Castle has not provide any objective studies or data that prove beyond a reasonable doubt that no site in Zone B or outside of Piedmont can provide adequate wireless communication coverage to the areas within the city in question. Neither have they provided any objective studies or data that prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the proposed site is the best site to provide wireless communications to the homes. Both must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt before this installation can proceed.
- 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 towers have a negative impact on property values – an estimated 10% decline for homes close to the 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 a cell tower undesirable, this tower 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 Piedmont neighborhoods since real estate appraisals are done by home sale prices from similar homes in Piedmont as a whole. (Palo Alto, as an example, has realized this and has blocked the installation of cell towers in their city to protect property values).
- Should this installation be allowed, that would set a precedent for other competing wireless carriers to seek installations in Piedmont for their own networks, which would cumulatively depress home values across all of Piedmont even further.
Based on these reasons, we the homeowners of Piedmont strongly object to the installation of the antennas. We further recommend to the city council that all such applications be denied to protect all our home values.
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