Nevada City Denies Verizon Rooftop Antennas in Historic District

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The Nevada City’s Planning Commission denied an application by Verizon Wireless to install rooftop antennas, encased in faux chimneys, in the downtown historic district.  Verizon said they will appeal the judgement and seek approval from the City Council.

“I personally would like to see some kind of infrastructure like this around,” Commissioner Skyler Moon told The Union. “That being said, I think our public voice has been very clear, and I serve the public. I am here for you guys.”

Property values were the concern issued by public commentators while Verizon representatives countered that those are not enough to deny the proposal. A lawyer for Verizon cited the potential violation of the federal Telecommunications Act, and asked for the decision to be reversed.  “Mere generalized concerns about aesthetics or neighborhood compatibility, which is all the Planning Commission provided, do not constitute substantial evidence for denial,” he said.

One opponent to the project expressing health concerns cited an AT&T Wireless case vs. the City of Carlsbad which read, “concern over the decrease in property values may not be considered as substantial evidence if the fear of property value depreciation is based on concern over the health effects caused by RF emissions… neither health concerns, nor any proxy for health concerns, can justify rejection of the proposed facility,” The Union reported.

City Manager Mark Prestwich confirmed the potential for alternative sites and provided Verizon officials with city-owned properties that could serve as antenna locations.

The appeal will be before the City Council on December 14.

November 28, 2016

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