11/3/09 UPDATE: AT&T has withdrawn its application for a Conditional Use Permit for a cell tower at the location detailed below. AT&T is now pursuing a new location for this cell tower.
On June 17th, at approximately 11:00AM, Councilmembers Sarah Fuller, Okorie Ezieme, and myself met with Richard Ambrosini of Reliant Land Services, Inc. (Reliant is a sub-contractor of AT&T, but not employed directly by AT&T). In regards to the feedback I have received through e-mail correspondence, the great majority of you have been in favor of the proposed cell tower in our census tract.
The key questions I posed to Mr. Ambrosini were:
1. What are the known health risks, if any, that are associated with cell towers?
2. How many cell sites are located in the surrounding areas?
3. How long is the lease with the proposed location at the Lincoln
Water Company (3406 Fair Oaks Ave – see attachment)?
4. Can these types of towers be located on residential properties?
1. I must be very frank, Mr. Ambrosini flat out said that he would not answer any questions regarding health risks to the community, and referenced the Communications Act of 1996. His response was actually a little scary. I asked if he would live near a cell tower and he said yes. He explained that the signal is strongest near the tower then fades as it gets further away. I pressed him for a statement regarding their position on potential health risks, and his reference to the Communications Act of 1996, and he said he would provide one. I have not yet received this statement.
2. Mr. Ambrosini stated that he would provide information regarding other cell sites in surrounding areas. I have not yet received this information.
3. AT&T likes 30 year leases.
4. Residents can go to websites of local cellular companies, find out where they need sites, and submit their information. He stated that it really depends on zoning in the area.
- Mr. Ambrosini has a Master’s Degree in Architecture and Urban Planning.
- There is a possibility that this will be a co-location tower, meaning that AT&T would combine with T-Mobile.
- It costs about $100,000 to put up a cell site.
- Construction takes 3 weeks or less.
- AT&T currently has a 1,000 site project.
- There are three different methods of construction. The first is called stealth, in which the cell tower is disguised as a tree (This is the method that is proposed for us. In our case, it will be either a palm tree or a pine tree). The second is concealment, in which the cell tower is hidden in the architecture of a building (Pasadena prefers this method). The third method is the construction of the cell tower in plain view.
- One thing that Mr. Ambrosini said was that radiation will be emitted from the tower, but at very low levels.
- He stated that in Altadena, 375 emergency 911 calls had been made, and 75% were dropped.
At this point, everybody residing within 300 feet of the cell site should have received notification. Mr. Ambrosini, after a few minor adjustments to his plans (such as deciding whether to have a pine tree or a palm tree), will be ready to move forward upon approval from the Land Use Committee and the Altadena Town Council.
This is how it works:
1. First, Mr. Ambrosini will present his proposal to the Land Use Committee, which meets on the first Tuesday of every month at the Altadena Community Center at 7:00PM (730 E. Altadena Dr). In order to do this, he must be on their agenda. Brian League is the chairman of the Land Use Committee (email@example.com). (It is not necessary to attend the meeting unless it is confirmed that Mr. Ambrosini and Reliant Land Services are on the agenda).
2. After presenting to the Land Use Committee, Mr. Ambrosini will present his proposal to the Town Council for a vote.
3. The Town Council will vote to either recommend the project to move forward or not, based upon your responses and input.
4. After Town Council makes a vote, Mr. Ambrosini and his proposal will go before the Regional Planning Commission of Los Angeles County. The Regional Planning Commission will either approve or disapprove.
5. The last step is for this proposal to reach the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. They have the final say.
The Town Council represents you, so if you strongly favor or oppose the cell tower after careful review and research, it is important that you make your voice heard. You can do this through five different opportunities:
1. You can contact me with your opinion. Until I officially take my seat on July 21, I must communicate my report to Hon. Okorie Ezieme and Hon. Sarah Fuller, who currently remain Councilmembers for Census Tract 4602.
2. You can show up at the Land Use Committee when the proposal is on the agenda.
3. You can show up at the Altadena Town Council meeting when the proposal is on the agenda.
4. You can show up at the Regional Planning Commission meeting (time and location to be determined).
5. Last but not least, you can show up at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting (time and location to be determined).
The sooner you make your opinion known, the better.
“Linking Altadenans Through Technology to Make Our Community a Better and Safer Place”