No Cell Towers Next to Homes and Schools In Los Altos, CA

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Los Altan Neighbor
Los Altan Neighbor signed this petition

We, the undersigned, demand that the City of Los Altos enforce and adopt laws regulating wireless facilities and deny AT&T and Verizon’s scheme to install their first wave of 14 cell towers in front of our homes and next to our schools. If we don't act now, the 4 major carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, & Sprint) will have the right to install over 1,700 cell towers in Los Altos.

Erecting industrial structures looming over homes with bulky utility boxes strapped to them or stacked on the ground will utterly destroy the character of our town.

Only 42 Los Altos homeowners and neighbors were sent spam-looking mail from L.A. Mapping Service with notice of AT&T and Verizon's plan to erect 14 cell towers. None of them are located in downtown or commercial areas. All are next to homes and schools. Any wireless facility, much less massive cell towers, should be away from homes and schools.  

After a huge public outcry, City Manager Chris Jordan, hastily added the first City Council Study Session on July 9, 2019. Your voice is needed to enact strict regulations for the installation, operation and maintenance of wireless telecommunication facilities in Los Altos such as Mill Valley's!

Sign this petition NOW to urge the Los Altos City Council, City Manager, Attorney and Staff to deny these cell towers and develop a plan that maintains wireless availability without destroying our local values and the aesthetics of our town.

We urge the Los Altos City Council and Manager to deny the projects and quickly enact strict regulations for the installation, operation and maintenance of wireless telecommunication facilities for the following reasons:

1.     It will ruin the aesthetics of Los Altos. Cell towers will create visual blight and destroy views and detract from the public’s enjoyment.

2.     It will create a dangerous precedent.  Other communities that have approved residential cell towers have fallen into this trap and are now fighting 80-foot towers and even 120-foot towers in their communities.  Once installed, the wireless carrier has even more legal power to make it 20 feet higher, bulkier, and more of an eyesore.  14 cell towers could metastasize to hundreds or even thousands of more towers – there is no clear limiting principle to stop the spread.  While it is AT&T & Verizon today, tomorrow it will be Sprint & T-Mobile, all 26 national carriers putting up huge cell towers in front of houses, schools, or parks.  Los Altos could turn into a cell tower farm! 

3.     It will tank property values.  Studies have determined that homes in the blast radius of radio frequency-emitting cell towers lose 20% or more of their property value.  The existence of a cell tower near a home MUST be included in the disclosure packet upon sale. 

4.     It could threaten health.  Radio frequency emissions above the federal guidelines as the proposed cell towers emit have been linked to cancer and serious adverse health effects.  So cell towers could affect hundreds of homes in the emission radius.  In fact, federal law requires the posting of a huge blue warning sign on each cell tower warning that the area exceeds federal guidelines for radio frequency emissions.

5.     It could create a fire hazard.  The 2007 Malibu Canyon fire was sparked by wireless equipment attached to a wooden utility pole, just as the AT&T & Verizon plan calls for here in Los Altos.  The blaze burned 3,800 acres and destroyed dozens of homes and vehicles. 

All Los Altos has to do to avoid being inundated by a tsunami of cell towers is adopt and enforce laws that give it the power to deny cell towers on aesthetics alone.  Numerous other cities such as Mill Valley, San Francisco, Piedmont, Petaluma, Palos Verdes, and Hillsborough (to name a few) have recently denied cell tower projects in residential areas just on aesthetic grounds.

Los Altos cannot approve the AT&T and Verizon projects because they have not shown 14 cell towers is “the least intrusive” way to address a “significant gap” in wireless coverage.

We not only urge that the projects be denied, but demand that the process be reformed.  Los Altos law must be amended to require the following before any wireless infrastructure is subject to an official decision:  45-days advance individualized notice to homeowners and neighbors, a public hearing at least 20 days before the determination, a decision by a vote of the City Council. 

Respectfully submitted,

Los Altos Neighbors

Want to do more? 

1. EMAIL LOS ALTOS CITY COUNCIL (council@losaltosca.gov) to adopt an urgency ordinance with strict regulations for the installation, operation and maintenance of wireless telecommunication facilities such as Mill Valley’s. Hold our City Council, City Manager, Attorney and Staff accountable to quickly follow through and not delay enacting strong ordinances. Stop un/known proposed cell towers from being grandfathered in next to homes and schools.

2. EMAIL AT&T (escsd@sure-site.com) and tell them you oppose the proposed initial wave of cell projects and all future ones near our homes and schools in Los Altos.

3. SPREAD THE WORD and share this petition with 5 of your friends and neighbors and sign this petition for smart and sensible placement of cell towers in Los Altos.

4. EMAIL los-altos-neighbors@googlegroups.com if you would like to stay informed and/or help.

5. ATTEND the July 30th Los Altos City Council meeting.

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