Fear of Lawsuit Prompts Site Approval With All Parties Unhappy

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Piedmont, CA City Council unanimously voted to approve three cell antenna sites for fear of being sued by Crown Castle if they didn’t, reported the East Bay Times, and no one is happy. The decision does not sit well with residents and even Crown Castle wasn’t satisfied with the outcome.

Piedmont resident Dr. Tom Lee noted, “I think we’ve been bullied with this thing we don’t want. I’m strongly against it.”

While Sharon James, government relations manager for Crown Castle, commented on the strict approval conditions, “They passed them with conditions of approval that we didn’t accept so I don’t know what this accomplished.”

The City Council feared that by denying the Crown Castle application, on behalf of Verizon, they could face legal fees of $250,000 or more if the companies decided to fight the decision. Vice Mayor Teddy Gray King noted, “We would not have the greatest hand moving forward and there would be a depletion of our general fund.”

Additionally, residents – both children and adults – protested in front of City Hall during the meeting with signs reading “More Trees, Less Towers” and “Small Cell Sites Are Invasive.” Resident Peter Harvey commented on the towers’ potential noise pollution, “While the soul of Piedmont is its rich history, its heart is its school system. It will be 11 times louder than nighttime ambient noise and five times louder than the daytime sound level. You’re asking students to deal with that.”

It’s uncertain whether the approval will be challenged by parties involved.

November 2, 2017

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