Jul 31 2019

More Wireless Sites Proposed

19 Sites Proposed: See list below.

Crown Castle Fiber Files Wireless Project Applications – More sites, but smaller equipment – 

On July 9, 2019, Crown Castle Fiber LLC filed wireless communication facilities (WCF) permit applications with the Planning and Building Department for 19 sites, most of which propose equipment attached to utility poles or street lights. The proposed sites are generally located around Piedmont Park and the surrounding neighborhoods.

The applications forms, plans, and other application materials are posted to the City website at: http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/publicworks/wireless.shtml#CCDAS.

The filing of these applications follows decisions made by the City Council in 2017 on eight WCF sites, a lawsuit filed in 2017 by Crown Castle challenging those decisions, and a settlement agreement that was the product of over eight months of mediation in federal court between Crown Castle and the City of Piedmont. The settlement agreement was approved by the City Council on December 17, 2018, and provides that Crown Castle will file new applications for the original sites reviewed in 2017 and ten additional sites. The additional sites were included because the settlement agreement designs delete the 700 MHz radios which Crown Castle previously requested. Due to the elimination of 700 MHz radios, the equipment can be sized to be appreciably smaller, but it also requires additional sites in order to cover the same service area.

Compared to the 2017 project applications, the proposed sites in the July 9, 2019 applications are designed to have smaller antennas and radios, be mounted higher on utility poles, reduce visual clutter, and have less or no impact on City trees.

The July 9, 2019 applications state that the sites are intended to improve cell phone service in Piedmont. Eighteen of the proposed sites included in the applications filed on July 9th result from the settlement agreement. Eight of these are the same sites as in the 2017 application. The ten new sites are needed to compensate for the elimination of the 700 MHz service. One of the ten new sites included in the July 9th applications does not match the location of the site included in the approved settlement agreement. For this and a number of other reasons, staff determined the applications incomplete on July 25, 2019.

The remaining facility site, located across from 314 Wildwood Avenue and within Piedmont Park, was not subject to the settlement agreement. However, the wireless permit for this site approved in 2017 had expired. Crown Castle chose to re-apply. This WCF application was also deemed incomplete on July 25th.

Once Crown Castle responds to the City’s letters outlining the items required to complete the applications, the projects will be scheduled for review by the Planning Commission and/or City Council. Due to recent changes by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the terms of the settlement agreement, the City must take action on the applications within 50 days of the response to the City’s letters.

The Planning Commission reviews and makes a recommendation to the City Council regarding approval or denial of the applications for all new sites (sites PHS-09 through PHS-19). The site near 314 Wildwood Avenue (PHS09) will also be scheduled for review by the Park Commission, which also makes a recommendation. The City Council will then consider all the applications and make a final decision.

If approved, Crown Castle will dismiss its lawsuit against the City. If not approved, the lawsuit will proceed.

The location of the sites included in the applications are listed below. Sites are across from, or in front of, the address indicated. Residents with questions about the applications may contact Senior Planner Pierce Macdonald-Powell by email at pmacdonald@piedmont.ca.gov. Any correspondence sent to the City may be considered a public record.

Proposed WCF sites:

  •  340-370 Highland Avenue (PHS01)
  •  150 Highland Avenue (PHS02)
  •  799 Magnolia Avenue (PHS03)
  •  740 Magnolia Avenue (PHS04)
  •  303 Hillside Avenue (PHS05)
  •  428 El Cerrito Avenue (PHS06)
  •  355 Jerome Avenue (PHS07)
  •  1166 Winsor Avenue (PHS08)
  •  314 Wildwood Avenue (PHS09)
  •  201 Hillside Avenue (PHS10)
  •  237 El Cerrito Avenue (PHS11)
  •  410 Hillside Court (PHS12)
  •  338 Magnolia Avenue (PHS13)
  •  96 Fairview Avenue (PHS14)
  •  116 MacKinnon Place (PHS15)
  •  100 Palm Drive (PHS16)
  •  185 Wildwood Avenue (PHS17)
  •  523 Boulevard Way (PHS18)
  •  44 Wildwood Avenue (PHS19)

For more information contact Senior Planner Pierce Macdonald Powell at (510) 420-3050 or pmacdonald@piedmont.ca.gov . 

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