After five years, Verizon received unanimous approval from the Thousand Oaks Planning Commission to install a tower in North Ranch, reported The Acorn. Although there were mixed feelings regarding the project, according to Commissioner Don Lanson, “The issue at the end of the day is, for purposes of this application, we’re looking specifically at whether it fits the rules and regulations, and I believe it does.”
Twenty members of the public attended the planning meeting, eighteen of which opposed the tower.
The primary worry was around health effects from radio frequency emissions. Jonathan Kramer, the city’s wireless consultant, informed the group that health and safety are topics planning commissioners are not allowed to consider when weighing the application.
Former Thousand Oaks city attorney Mark Sellers, speaking on behalf of nearby homeowners, suggested Verizon could have found a more suitable site that was farther from residences, per The Acorn. “I feel this is a market-value issue,” Sellers said. “There are studies out there that say if you’re across the street from one of these sites, your home is going to lose 20% in value. That’s a legitimate land-use decision for you to make and consider.”
The few that supported the tower argued that there is no reliable cell coverage in the neighborhood, which creates a safety issue. “I understand a lot of people here have concerns about health. Safety is the other side of that coin,” said North Ranch resident Joslyn Stuart. “I know some people are concerned they didn’t get notice of tonight’s meeting or of the building of the proposed cell tower. I am one of the people who didn’t get advance notice of the fires or the evacuation [because I didn’t have cell coverage].”
September 13, 2019