Council Approves Three 5G Small Cell Amendments

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In Maryland on Tuesday, the Montgomery County Council voted on changes to a bill providing 5G antenna placement guidelines. Bethesda Magazine reported that supporters of the measure are hopeful that changes will be adopted countywide to provide improved service. Opponents are concerned about the number of antennas that might be installed throughout the community and potential health risks related to RF radiation. 

The legislation currently states that residents living within 300 feet of a proposed new pole would receive a notification via mail and could object to its construction by attending a public hearing. It also allows antennas on existing poles that are up to 30 feet away from any building. 

According to Bethesda Magazine, council members unanimously approved three amendments regarding 5G, including:

  1. Height limits for any new 5G poles must be no taller than the nearest pre-existing streetlight or utility pole. It can be 6 feet higher when next to a right-of-way (ROW) with a paved section of 65 feet or less, or 15 feet higher when next to a ROW with a paved area greater than 65 feet.
  2. A new pole can only be constructed if there is no utility pole or streetlight within 150 feet of the proposed location.
  3. A “Tree loss minimization” clause, protecting foliage from new pole construction. 

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