Quantcast
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

San Diego steams ahead with 5G installation

Trees may have to be removed

Stop 5G rally on June 23
Stop 5G rally on June 23

Last Tuesday, July 23, the San Diego City Council heard from critics, loud and clear, before voting to approve 5G guidelines. While the city touts its stealth designs, techno-blight isn't the only thing opponents care about.

Health impacts from inescapable radiofrequency was a top concern. In fact, health concerns carry no weight in the process; a 1996 federal law bars cities from considering the health effects of radio frequency in siting towers.

Stop 5G rally on July 23. "Worst of all, there are 'zero setbacks from residences.' "

Tucked into the city's twelfth land-use update are "small cell" guidelines that will fast-track thousands of mini cell towers throughout the city, a requirement of a new federal law that took effect in January. They'll go on street lights and traffic signs, in parks, near schools, by homes.

"We have no poles, no cobra lights, so every 5G installation will be a separate tower," said Don Taylor, chair of the Kensington-Talmadge community planning group, which sought changes to the draft. The group's first wish was to ensure that projects proposed in historic and potential historic districts "shall not erode the aesthetic character of the community."

Done. The federal order allows eyesores if the city has no design criteria. "Fortunately, we do," said city planner Simon Tse. The Kensington group wanted to follow city staff's recommendation that the guidelines go into the land development code manual so they are enforceable. Planning groups rely on the city's current wireless guidelines to evaluate small cell installations.

And third was a change sought by health advocates: a wireless community master plan. "With no master plan from any telecom company, we have no idea what they are each going to do – where small cells will go and exactly how many and on how many poles, existing or new," says Sue Brinchman, director of the nonprofit Center for Electrosmog Prevention, in an email.

That one didn't fly. According to a memo from the city attorney, such a plan would require extensive public comments on sites, sure to slow the process – against the Federal Communications Commission order.

But city planner Karen Lynch said for new poles coming into the right-of-way in Kensington, there would be a Neighborhood Use Permit process that would allow community voices, and the decision could be appealed to the planning commission. Planners would recommend the carrier come in with as many sites as they can for the community to aid the review, "almost like a Master Plan, but not – it's just several locations."

The rollout could begin early as this year, driven by the new law that limits local control and imposes "shot clock" timeframes to process applications: 60 days for equipment on existing structures or 90 days for new ones.

"This is good for the wireless industry but it removes any flexibility the city has to 'partner' with the applicant during project review," notes city staff reports. Since "this partnership often serves as a substitute for due diligence," applicants must do their research.

The guidelines would allow facilities up to 15 cubic feet, attached to an existing light pole or traffic signal, to be processed by ministerial application.

San Diego has come a long way in its design guidelines, Lynch said. "What was allowed 20 years ago is no longer allowed today. Out of the top 10 major cities in the U.S., none have better concealment of macro facilities or better designed small cell sites, likely attributable to our regulations and guidelines."

Health advocates see it differently. Stealth designs won't make up for all the new towers that will sprout like branches on trees – only the trees may have to be removed to make way; trees interfere with certain 5G radiowaves.

"I see an emphasis on concealment with zero safety considerations," Brinchman says of the city's new guidelines. "I see permission to place up to four small cells on one pole." And worst of all, there are "zero setbacks from residences."

Some cities have more protective ordinances that put greater distance between the small cells and people, she says. Marin County's new rules don't allow 5G antenna within 1,500 feet of schools and require antennae to be located a minimum of 1,000 feet apart.

The World Health Organization classified radiofrequency radiation as a possible carcinogen in 2011. While 5G operates on a much higher frequency than earlier generations, it won't replace existing networks, but will expand them to fill in coverage gaps.

Several speakers at the meeting called for the council to delay the vote. "We're just assuming based on research done more than 20 years ago that this is okay," said Antonia Mahoney.

"But we won't know until we put it outside our kids' bedrooms."

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

Previous article

San Diego's punk music, goodbye to Lennon

Reader writers tell favorite music
Stop 5G rally on June 23
Stop 5G rally on June 23

Last Tuesday, July 23, the San Diego City Council heard from critics, loud and clear, before voting to approve 5G guidelines. While the city touts its stealth designs, techno-blight isn't the only thing opponents care about.

Health impacts from inescapable radiofrequency was a top concern. In fact, health concerns carry no weight in the process; a 1996 federal law bars cities from considering the health effects of radio frequency in siting towers.

Stop 5G rally on July 23. "Worst of all, there are 'zero setbacks from residences.' "

Tucked into the city's twelfth land-use update are "small cell" guidelines that will fast-track thousands of mini cell towers throughout the city, a requirement of a new federal law that took effect in January. They'll go on street lights and traffic signs, in parks, near schools, by homes.

"We have no poles, no cobra lights, so every 5G installation will be a separate tower," said Don Taylor, chair of the Kensington-Talmadge community planning group, which sought changes to the draft. The group's first wish was to ensure that projects proposed in historic and potential historic districts "shall not erode the aesthetic character of the community."

Done. The federal order allows eyesores if the city has no design criteria. "Fortunately, we do," said city planner Simon Tse. The Kensington group wanted to follow city staff's recommendation that the guidelines go into the land development code manual so they are enforceable. Planning groups rely on the city's current wireless guidelines to evaluate small cell installations.

And third was a change sought by health advocates: a wireless community master plan. "With no master plan from any telecom company, we have no idea what they are each going to do – where small cells will go and exactly how many and on how many poles, existing or new," says Sue Brinchman, director of the nonprofit Center for Electrosmog Prevention, in an email.

That one didn't fly. According to a memo from the city attorney, such a plan would require extensive public comments on sites, sure to slow the process – against the Federal Communications Commission order.

But city planner Karen Lynch said for new poles coming into the right-of-way in Kensington, there would be a Neighborhood Use Permit process that would allow community voices, and the decision could be appealed to the planning commission. Planners would recommend the carrier come in with as many sites as they can for the community to aid the review, "almost like a Master Plan, but not – it's just several locations."

The rollout could begin early as this year, driven by the new law that limits local control and imposes "shot clock" timeframes to process applications: 60 days for equipment on existing structures or 90 days for new ones.

"This is good for the wireless industry but it removes any flexibility the city has to 'partner' with the applicant during project review," notes city staff reports. Since "this partnership often serves as a substitute for due diligence," applicants must do their research.

The guidelines would allow facilities up to 15 cubic feet, attached to an existing light pole or traffic signal, to be processed by ministerial application.

San Diego has come a long way in its design guidelines, Lynch said. "What was allowed 20 years ago is no longer allowed today. Out of the top 10 major cities in the U.S., none have better concealment of macro facilities or better designed small cell sites, likely attributable to our regulations and guidelines."

Health advocates see it differently. Stealth designs won't make up for all the new towers that will sprout like branches on trees – only the trees may have to be removed to make way; trees interfere with certain 5G radiowaves.

"I see an emphasis on concealment with zero safety considerations," Brinchman says of the city's new guidelines. "I see permission to place up to four small cells on one pole." And worst of all, there are "zero setbacks from residences."

Some cities have more protective ordinances that put greater distance between the small cells and people, she says. Marin County's new rules don't allow 5G antenna within 1,500 feet of schools and require antennae to be located a minimum of 1,000 feet apart.

The World Health Organization classified radiofrequency radiation as a possible carcinogen in 2011. While 5G operates on a much higher frequency than earlier generations, it won't replace existing networks, but will expand them to fill in coverage gaps.

Several speakers at the meeting called for the council to delay the vote. "We're just assuming based on research done more than 20 years ago that this is okay," said Antonia Mahoney.

"But we won't know until we put it outside our kids' bedrooms."

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

Matthew Stewart’s protest song earns heavy spins online

“Alternative Facts” uses the catchphrase coined by presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway
Next Article

How to get to the river path from Sports Arena Boulevard

Maybe you shouldn't try
Comments
5
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
July 30, 2019

"This is good for the wireless industry…"

Of course! That's because the FCC, currently another tool of the Administration, is dedicated to increasing profits for the industry it supposedly regulates. The FCC is not interested in protecting the citizens of the United States from predatory monopolists.

That is also why we have the highest internet costs in the civilized world and the lowest quality service. It's why your email and phone are full of spam. It's why your ISP and phone company are allowed to sell your personal information without telling you. It's why we can't have the 'net neutrality that protects us from these ripoff corporate overlords.

This Administration has staffed every regulatory agency with tools who are determined to remove every rule that protects citizens and replace those rules with others that protect corporate profits. Say goodbye to national parks, clean air, renewable energy, affordable insurance or drugs or imported goods. Say goodbye to real full-time jobs with livable wages. Say hello to the 'gig economy'. Say hello to even wealthier Wall Street bankers, politicians and CEOs.

Oops, I almost got into a rant!

July 31, 2019

Rant on!

Aug. 3, 2019

5G isn't safe. Yet its rollout continues. Why does this feel like population reduction? LRAD technology, thousands of small antennae..? This sounds like a nightmare. Is the "Internet of things" important to you at all? The purported benefits do not come close to outweighing the hazards. Maddening.

Aug. 10, 2019

See the picture of one type of 5G antenna at this article

5G’s a Hard Cell: Residents sour on towers going up across La Jolla

(Highlight the headline above and then right click on it, click on that link.)

Sept. 9, 2019

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 News — 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