San Clemente’s City Council Dragging Out Small Cell Approval


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City Council is mulling over a proposal by AT&T to install small cells on two light poles in the rights-of-way located near neighborhoods, reported the San Clemente Times (California). Residents are concerned over the proximity to the devices, specifically related to the health impacts of 5G, (“harmful radiation exposure”) and adverse effects on property values.

Resident Kristy Neuhausen is one of the lead organizers of a 25-person group against the installation of the antennas. 

She stated that the small cells are 5G-operable and is advocating the city council to pass an ordinance unless the antennas are placed a minimum of 1,500 feet from homes, schools, and any occupied building. “We’re just trying to request the cities put ordinances in to stop [AT&T] from putting [cell towers] right near our homes,” she added. 

Ryan Oliver, the media relations director for AT&T’s west region, told the Times the company’s proposed cell towers will feature 4G technology, not 5G, and will help to improve wireless coverage and capacity. Oliver declined to comment on whether the small cells could be upgraded to 5G in the future.

In August, the Planning Commission denied four conditional use permits for AT&T to install small cells near neighborhoods and school properties. AT&T has since appealed two of the denials, and according to Cecilia Gallardo-Daly, the city’s community development director, the telecom asked to postpone the public hearing on the matter to early October so the full voting body could consider the appeal.

AT&T has also submitted applications for seven other sites, which are currently under review by the city. Council is expected to vote on the two small cells under appeal at an upcoming meeting on October 1.

September 27, 2019

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