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Laguna Beach is about to be blanketed with hundreds of small cell towers throughout residential neighborhoods by cell phone companies supported by the FCC. They are being introduced to the city council and planning commission as “small cell sites” that will then become 5G. These are boxes that are mounted to telephone poles and light posts every few hundred feet. The FCC has no restrictions or setbacks to homes.

There is great concern by scientists and communities across the world over 5G's use of the higher energy millimeter-wave radiation. It’s much stronger and the amount of cell towers planned is staggering. This will greatly impact our aesthetics, potentially cause adverse health affects, increase our vulnerability to fires, while also devaluing homes.

An ordinance is being proposed as an Urgency Ordinance which would be adopted pursuant to Government Code Section 36937(b). (Under that section, ordinances adopted to protect the health, safety, and welfare with a four-fifths vote of the City Council become effective immediately, required by state law). Given the increased interest in construction of small-cell facilities in the public right-of-way, it is critical that Laguna Beach updates its regulations to reflect current federal and state law and recent trends in wireless facilities. The adoption of urgency standards will ensure that the City is able to limit disruption to the public right-of-way as well as impose aesthetic regulations on new facilities.

Show our opposition to city council by applying pressure for them to create such an ordinance where they will keep small cell towers out of residential and commercial areas. Many cities in California are standing up, and a few cases have been successful in blocking it from residential areas; Los Altos, Calabasas, and Mill Valley. City Council is under severe pressure from the FCC and has already caved into their demands. However, IT IS NOT REQUIRED.

Health and safety is a major concern. As is the fire danger, and Laguna Beach is prone to fires. Many of us were here during the fires of 1993 that devastated our town. Laguna is a high risk area for numerous reasons, including the fact that there are only three exit routes from the city. Cell towers have been known to cause fires due to overloaded poles. A $12 million settlement with three cellphone companies was finalized for their involvement in the cause of the 2007 Malibu Canyon fire (Malibu Times News). The 2017 Stenson fire, the 2018 Woolsey fire, among others, were caused by cell towers, and even the most recent fire may have been from a cell tower, officials say, “The cause of the Saddleridge Fire has not been determined, but Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said that he was aware of a media report of a witness seeing fire fall from an electric transmission tower” (Apple News).

Small cell sites are an eyesore that WILL effect views and property value. Even visitors will be effected. Laguna Beach prides itself on our aesthetics, our beauty, and charm. Residents always have a voice when any new construction is planned, and the addition of small cell towers throughout neighborhoods and the downtown areas effects all of us. The city council and planning commission are OUR public servants who have a duty to hear our concerns and do what is best for public health and safety.

Let's join this list of California cities that are opposing 5G cell towers in their communities. Contra Costa, Danville, Mill Valley, Monterey, Napa, Oakland, Orinda, Palo Alto, Petaluma, San Rafael, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Sonoma, Ventura County, Los Altos, Thousand Oaks, Calabasas, Encinitas, Rancho Mission Viejo, San Clemente, and now Laguna Beach.