Monday, November 30, 2020

City of Coronado Joins Wireless Coalition to Protect Local Siting Control, Aesthetics

A Coronado telephone pole with a 5G unit on top. Credit: The Coronado Times

The City of Coronado has joined a coalition of local governments and agencies in filing nearly 600 pages of comments to oppose the wireless industry’s attempts to take away siting control from citizens.

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“With City Council support, the City has entered into an agreement with Telecom Law Firm to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission in opposition to proposed changes that allow the Wireless Industry Association to ignore locally adopted policies,” City Manager Blair King said. “We will continue to work to protect our community.”

Coronado was one of the first cities to adopt rules to ensure that any wireless communications facilities installed in the City are sensitively designed and sited. Adopted in August 2018, the rules establish permit procedures, design standards and location preferences. The goal is to encourage preferred locations, collocation, and maintaining the unique community character and distinct aesthetics using “stealth” techniques and, for our residents, providing advance notification of pending applications. Property owners or residents who receive a mailed public notice may file a request for a public hearing.

The Wireless Industry Association recently petitioned the FCC for a declaratory ruling that would erode local government authority related to expansions to existing wireless facilities. In the petition, the Association asks the FCC to mandate a shorter approval process, preempting public notices and opportunities for the public to be heard; allow applicants to undo careful concealment efforts; preempt local authority to require cell-site operators to clean up neglected sites as a condition to approve a proposed expansion; and make it more difficult for local governments to exercise their powers to protect public health, safety and welfare.

In combination with other municipal law firms also filing in the same proceedings, the Western Communities Coalition represents the positions and views of local governments on behalf of millions of concerned residents.

Other coalition members include San Diego, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, La Mesa, the League of California Cities, as well as cities in Washington, Oregon and Colorado.

Source:  City of Coronado

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