Santa Fe County ‘Too Easy’ on Cell Towers

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David Stupin, a physicist who is retired from Los Alamos National Laborator, recently took to the Santa Fe New Mexican to share his thoughts on cell phone towers and how Santa Fe County’s cell tower regulations are “too easy.” “Imagine having a 130-foot-tall cell tower in your neighbor’s yard catch fire and fall on your home or start a wildfire in your neighborhood,” Stupin begins. “The Santa Fe County Sustainable Land Development Code allows the construction of radio towers, including cell towers, shorter than 30 feet without review by the county, public notice or setback provisions from property lines.” 30-feet is the average height of the light poles that cover our neighborhoods. Many municipalities are making it more difficult for companies to construct tall towers, which is why smaller towers are being considered. While towers can always be built on and extended, federal law and Federal Communication Commission guidelines require that the county must approve adding additional antennas on the tower. If additional antennas are added, residents and county officials will be consulted on the modifications to the structure so a tower couldn’t just grow to 130-feet without any notice or approval.

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