4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Escondido says no cell towers in your front yard — unless you live on a street like Citracado

Ben Hueso carries water for wireless guys

SB 649, introduced by Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, would strip local control over small cell placement, even in residential zones.
SB 649, introduced by Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, would strip local control over small cell placement, even in residential zones.

Like other cities, Escondido is planning for the mass deployment of fifth generation technology. As both officials and carriers see it, it's time to make the permit process for the "small cells" that can accommodate 5G blazing fast.

Citracado Parkway. "It's the perfect place to have it in a residential neighborhood."

"We're getting a lot of pressure from the wireless industry to process applications for small cells in the right of way," said Escondido city planner Jay Paul at the May 24 City Council meeting, where a zoning ordinance was introduced that would create a new wireless permit geared to the public right of way. Street lights, utility poles and traffic signs will pick up where fake palm trees leave off, hosting thousands of the mini base stations.

Olga Diaz: "If I walked out my front door and suddenly there's a bunch of stuff on a pole and nobody told me, I would be upset."

Apartments and single family homes are within that "last mile" the industry is targeting. As some see it, the industry wants to go quietly and quickly into neighborhoods, because opposition can be fierce.

A new state bill, SB 649, introduced by Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, would strip local control over small cell placement, even in residential zones.It's opposed by the League of Cities and those who have health concerns.

"There should be a public outcry, but honestly I don't think many people have a clue as to what is coming," says North County resident Susan Foster, who advocates for public safety in regard to radio frequency. "There will be cell towers approximately every ten homes, with loud back-up generator equipment to support the infrastructure," she says, referring to the envisioned, nationwide network.

While some may want the equipment near their homes, others won't have a say about it. Applications no longer come in one at a time, Paul said. Now it's 12-15 at once, overwhelming the case-by-case approach. Currently, a conditional use permit is required if a facility wants to go within a 500 foot radius of a home. The process requires public notice at the sites, and in the newspaper.

The new ordinance includes a faster, cheaper administrative permit, which means streamlined rules, batched processing, and no public review for the city's preferred sites. A regular conditional use permit takes six months and costs $4500; an administrative permit takes half as long and costs half as much.

"I think what the industry is looking forward to with this is, right now, if you wanted to go into a residential neighborhood, any residential neighborhood, it's a conditional use permit," Paul said. Councilman Masson said the conditional use permit takes time and money. "There are public hearings involved. You get NIMBYs involved. At some point,"we ought to be able to handle that at the staff level. And I don't know that we need to go to that conditional use permit level for these smaller facilities."

The new ordinance will increase the number of sites eligible for a speedy administrative permit for most residential neighborhoods, except those on front yards on non-circulation element streets, Paul said. The city's preferred residential locations are on a collector or a major road or a local collector, he said. Wireless companies, wanting even more say on location and design criteria, asked the city to delay approval of the ordinance, and the council agreed, voting to continue the public hearing until June 14.

"Administrative is good, but the problem is, how do you get to that last mile, the residential areas?" said Paul O'Boyle, a lawyer for Crown Castle. The city's preference for street lights is too limiting, he said. "We don't need fewer facilities, we need more of them."

The city's "design hopes" might have to be let go, said Councilman Ed Gallo. Slender objects on existing street lights would be ideal, but small cell equipment isn't always discrete, ranging in size from a small box on a utility pole to new 120-foot poles. The city discourages new structures.

In 2009, to keep towers out of residential zones, the city changed its antenna ordinance to encourage use of the right of way. Most such projects were 2-3 full-size antennas on a pole made to look like a street light. But few went up; most have gone on private property.

The "macro cells" have been mostly single sites with tall towers, big cabinets and armies of antennas. They can reach cell phones up to 45 miles away, while small cells fill gaps of about 11 yards in urban areas and one mile in rural settings.

A Planning Commission report says that by 2020, from 21-50 billion devices will be connected — up from about six billion today. With "new demand in neighborhoods, traffic centers, and downtown, macro facilities aren't the best way to do that," Paul said. The city prefers sites they can batch administratively without a permit, as they've been doing in commercial zones, Paul said. But for residential areas, the carriers are waiting on the ordinance "because it allows them to go administratively forward, 90 percent of them." And if someone doesn't like it? "What if I just decide I don't ever want to see anything on top of that street light?" said Councilman Michael Morasco.

"That's one neighbor that can make a stink to stop it." And "who ever looks up at the street light?"

"But that's what we do now," said Councilwoman Olga Diaz. "We give them the opportunity to say something."

"But they don't own the street lights," Morasco said.

Diaz said she likes the permit notification process if something is going in someone's yard. "If I walked out my front door and suddenly there's a bunch of stuff on a pole and nobody told me, I would be upset." Were they proposing to keep the CUP on non-collector streets, Diaz asked.

"Yes, in residential zones," Paul said.

"So the residential part stays the same as it's always been? We're not changing it?"

"Yes and no," Paul said. "We're keeping the conditional use permit for non-circulation element streets and for somebody's front yard. What we're taking it out of is the larger streets."

Like Citracado Parkway, where homes back up to it and there's a noise wall. "It's the perfect place to have it in a residential neighborhood," he said. Or along a side street. Or going up a street in a residential neighborhood.

"It would be appropriate for some locations."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Amazon’s Bezos gives Institute $30 million to find “cure” for ailing climate

Salk It To ‘Em
Next Article

SPG turns RPG into BFD

Local costumed rockers are hot on the trail of a breakthrough
SB 649, introduced by Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, would strip local control over small cell placement, even in residential zones.
SB 649, introduced by Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, would strip local control over small cell placement, even in residential zones.

Like other cities, Escondido is planning for the mass deployment of fifth generation technology. As both officials and carriers see it, it's time to make the permit process for the "small cells" that can accommodate 5G blazing fast.

Citracado Parkway. "It's the perfect place to have it in a residential neighborhood."

"We're getting a lot of pressure from the wireless industry to process applications for small cells in the right of way," said Escondido city planner Jay Paul at the May 24 City Council meeting, where a zoning ordinance was introduced that would create a new wireless permit geared to the public right of way. Street lights, utility poles and traffic signs will pick up where fake palm trees leave off, hosting thousands of the mini base stations.

Olga Diaz: "If I walked out my front door and suddenly there's a bunch of stuff on a pole and nobody told me, I would be upset."

Apartments and single family homes are within that "last mile" the industry is targeting. As some see it, the industry wants to go quietly and quickly into neighborhoods, because opposition can be fierce.

A new state bill, SB 649, introduced by Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, would strip local control over small cell placement, even in residential zones.It's opposed by the League of Cities and those who have health concerns.

"There should be a public outcry, but honestly I don't think many people have a clue as to what is coming," says North County resident Susan Foster, who advocates for public safety in regard to radio frequency. "There will be cell towers approximately every ten homes, with loud back-up generator equipment to support the infrastructure," she says, referring to the envisioned, nationwide network.

While some may want the equipment near their homes, others won't have a say about it. Applications no longer come in one at a time, Paul said. Now it's 12-15 at once, overwhelming the case-by-case approach. Currently, a conditional use permit is required if a facility wants to go within a 500 foot radius of a home. The process requires public notice at the sites, and in the newspaper.

The new ordinance includes a faster, cheaper administrative permit, which means streamlined rules, batched processing, and no public review for the city's preferred sites. A regular conditional use permit takes six months and costs $4500; an administrative permit takes half as long and costs half as much.

"I think what the industry is looking forward to with this is, right now, if you wanted to go into a residential neighborhood, any residential neighborhood, it's a conditional use permit," Paul said. Councilman Masson said the conditional use permit takes time and money. "There are public hearings involved. You get NIMBYs involved. At some point,"we ought to be able to handle that at the staff level. And I don't know that we need to go to that conditional use permit level for these smaller facilities."

The new ordinance will increase the number of sites eligible for a speedy administrative permit for most residential neighborhoods, except those on front yards on non-circulation element streets, Paul said. The city's preferred residential locations are on a collector or a major road or a local collector, he said. Wireless companies, wanting even more say on location and design criteria, asked the city to delay approval of the ordinance, and the council agreed, voting to continue the public hearing until June 14.

"Administrative is good, but the problem is, how do you get to that last mile, the residential areas?" said Paul O'Boyle, a lawyer for Crown Castle. The city's preference for street lights is too limiting, he said. "We don't need fewer facilities, we need more of them."

The city's "design hopes" might have to be let go, said Councilman Ed Gallo. Slender objects on existing street lights would be ideal, but small cell equipment isn't always discrete, ranging in size from a small box on a utility pole to new 120-foot poles. The city discourages new structures.

In 2009, to keep towers out of residential zones, the city changed its antenna ordinance to encourage use of the right of way. Most such projects were 2-3 full-size antennas on a pole made to look like a street light. But few went up; most have gone on private property.

The "macro cells" have been mostly single sites with tall towers, big cabinets and armies of antennas. They can reach cell phones up to 45 miles away, while small cells fill gaps of about 11 yards in urban areas and one mile in rural settings.

A Planning Commission report says that by 2020, from 21-50 billion devices will be connected — up from about six billion today. With "new demand in neighborhoods, traffic centers, and downtown, macro facilities aren't the best way to do that," Paul said. The city prefers sites they can batch administratively without a permit, as they've been doing in commercial zones, Paul said. But for residential areas, the carriers are waiting on the ordinance "because it allows them to go administratively forward, 90 percent of them." And if someone doesn't like it? "What if I just decide I don't ever want to see anything on top of that street light?" said Councilman Michael Morasco.

"That's one neighbor that can make a stink to stop it." And "who ever looks up at the street light?"

"But that's what we do now," said Councilwoman Olga Diaz. "We give them the opportunity to say something."

"But they don't own the street lights," Morasco said.

Diaz said she likes the permit notification process if something is going in someone's yard. "If I walked out my front door and suddenly there's a bunch of stuff on a pole and nobody told me, I would be upset." Were they proposing to keep the CUP on non-collector streets, Diaz asked.

"Yes, in residential zones," Paul said.

"So the residential part stays the same as it's always been? We're not changing it?"

"Yes and no," Paul said. "We're keeping the conditional use permit for non-circulation element streets and for somebody's front yard. What we're taking it out of is the larger streets."

Like Citracado Parkway, where homes back up to it and there's a noise wall. "It's the perfect place to have it in a residential neighborhood," he said. Or along a side street. Or going up a street in a residential neighborhood.

"It would be appropriate for some locations."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Pony Death Ride: the Unthemed theme

Bringing a little holiday cheer to people who like weirdo-sarcastic musical comedy
Next Article

Nathaniel Hawthorne and his interest in history, morality and religion

The Scarlet Letter (1850), also carried over into his poetic output
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close