Apr 17 2018

REMINDER: City Council Study Session on Wireless Facilities Tuesday, April 17

 Proposed Wireless Towers in the public right-of-way have been controversial.

Citizens are encouraged to attend a City Council study session on April 17, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers to discuss the legal constraints and best practices for wireless communication facilities in the public right-of-way.

Presentations will include a detailed description of federal and state restrictions on the City’s authority to regulate wireless facilities, particularly those located in the public rights-of-way. The study session will include information on the types of technology and services expected in the near future. There will be discussion on the range of possible designs and locations of antennas, radios, and other types of communications equipment for distributed antenna system (DAS) installations in the public right-of-way. Currently, there are no pending permit applications for wireless facilities within the City’s boundaries.

This information is intended to provide the City with a foundation on which to consider development standards and regulations for future wireless communication facilities in the public right-of-way.

Residents are encouraged to submit questions related to the legal restrictions and the technology for wireless communication facilities in advance of the study session. Due to the large amount of community interest in this topic, and the desire to provide the most complete and accurate information as possible, comments and questions are requested by April 9, 2018. Residents can submit questions to cityclerk@piedmont.ca.gov. Written comments and questions will be accepted after this date, but staff may not be able to research and provide an answer by the time of the meeting. Residents are also encouraged to share their comments at the meeting.

The April 17, 2018 study session will be televised live on KCOM-TV, the City’s government TV station, and will be available through streaming video on the City’s web site www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/video.

Broadcasted meetings are also viewable after they have been recorded by going to www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/video  and finding the date of interest under City Council.

One Response to “REMINDER: City Council Study Session on Wireless Facilities Tuesday, April 17”

  1. The intent of the meeting was to “provide the city with a foundation on which to consider development standards and regulations for future wireless communications facilities in the public right of way” but that was not really addressed in the council discussion or Q&A that followed. None of the consultants, staff nor the public suggested what future installations should look like. Most questions were about the current Crown Castle lawsuit, determine how CC did its gap and capacity analysis and the health effects of RF.

    The most interesting part of the meeting came in the last 15 minutes of discussion when the engineer acknowledged that micro-cell towers within 20 feet of a home raised a red flag under FCC guidelines for RF exposure. I recommend readers watch this part of the meeting on KCOM. It would seem to to be most relevant to potential design guidelines for new cell installations. Should these towers be within 20 feet of a home, the standard set back for most Piedmont homes? This is a health-based criteria which cannot be considered in cell tower applications.
    To do that would require a change to federal and state laws which is why Cameron Wolfe recommended lobbying legislatures. Perhaps state law allowing cell towers in the right of way could be changed to require that there be 30 ft between the ROW cell tower and a residence. With the recent NTP study on RF and cancer there may be a justification to revisit the questions of health effects when siting cell towers.

    The staff notice said there are no new applications. Going forward, staff should notice the community when companies first engage with the city and not just when the application is formally submitted and the shot clock starts.

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