STOP 5G CELL TOWERS IN LAGUNA BEACH - AESTHETICS & FIRE SAFETY - BEFORE ITS TOO LATE!

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Lauren Bell
Lauren Bell signed this petition

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 are currently 4G and 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.

The National Toxicology Program finally released the results of their study on the health effects of RF radiation and concluded that RF radiation does in fact cause brain cancer. 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. While FFC regulations, conveniently for them, remove our right to be concerned about health, we can object on other grounds such as aesthetics. The introduction of that many more cell towers in neighborhoods and the like will greatly impact our aesthetics, potentially cause adverse health affects, increase our vulnerability to fires, while also devaluing homes.

Small cell sites are an eyesore that WILL effect views and property value. Even visitors will be effected. Have you all seen the “small” cell towers littered all the way down Laguna Canyon road? They look like trash hanging from our poles. 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.

Health and safety is a major concern also, especially regarding the fire danger. Laguna Beach is prone to fires and considered a high risk area. 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.

The city council, planning commission, city manager, and city staff are OUR public servants who have a duty to hear our voices and do what is best for public health and safety.

Amendments are being made to the Laguna Beach Municipal Code, this is our chance to make the necessary changes to protect our city. An ordinance is has been proposed by our activists 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. Sign our petition and email the city staff directly. The more letters the more they will hear our grievances. 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.

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.

 

*UPDATE:

The City Council held a meeting in November to make amendments to the Laguna Beach Municipal Code. At first it appeared they were trying to make it easier for the telecoms to place towers anywhere they want. However, after individual meetings with City Council Members we felt they were on our side and they showed this to be true with the outcome of the City Council meeting. We proposed many amendments during public comments and all of them were taken into consideration to be added to the amendments of the Municipal Code. But there is much more work to be done! We only were able to speak to some of the amendments we recommend the city staff make as we ran out of time during public comments, we have many more important amendments to add. These further amendments have been forwarded to the entire city staff in hopes they will review and include in the code. The fight is far from over and we still need your help! Please write to the City Council, Planning Commission, and staff urging them to add the amendments sent over by our activists (Lauren Bell and Shannon Yerkovich). Thank you!