“Hideous Small Cell Towers” Provide Coverage, Expansion, Capacity

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Verizon Wireless and CBR Group seek to install three small cells in the Sonoma, CA business district to “provide enhanced Verizon Wireless service through improved coverage… [and] expand capacity in Verizon Wireless’s network in the City,” according to the wireless carrier’s application to the Sonoma Planning Department. Now, the Planning Department will hold a study session to evaluate the wireless infrastructure, reported the Sonoma Index-Tribune.

Residents, including Lin Marie DeVincent, are up-in-arms over the small cells. 

“There is no need for this faster technology, as confirmed by the tech consultant hired by the City … [who] said there is ‘no significant gap in coverage’ in Sonoma. The towers are also ugly and do not belong in our beautiful landscape…Why approve these hideous cell towers?”

Concerns also surfaced regarding the effects of electromagnetic radiation related to 5G, according to the Index-Tribune. However, per Verizon spokesperson Heidi Flato, “No 5G is planned. New and different equipment would be required for 5G, and new permits would be required.”

According to Christy Beltran of the CBR Group, they have worked with Verizon over the past two years to “develop the most suitable design that has the least impact to City while providing the much-needed service to the community.” This included rejecting “vaulting” requests by the Planning Commission for reasons of high cost, lengthy installation periods, extended maintenance, reliability and expected obsolescence.

In June, CBR Group on behalf of Verizon, submitted seven design concepts for the three small cell sites, including various locations for the radio transmitters, antennas, and associated equipment at several elevations on the proposed poles. Some of the poles would include a ground cabinet. Along with the submission, Beltran wrote that they hope to formally receive the commission’s feedback, “so we may move [forward] with improving Verizon Wireless Service in Sonoma for their residents, employees, visitors and emergency service providers who rely on their service.”

July 11, 2019

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