Urge Hillsborough City Manager Kathy Leroux to protect Hillsborough residents by enforcing Hillsborough’s own laws to stop Verizon from putting up 16 massive cell towers around town. Approval is planned by December 21st unless you help stop it!
Crown Castle/Verizon has had these cell towers in the works for more than five years but Hillsborough sandbagged the homeowners and neighbors giving them junk-mail notice only one week before the project's planned approval.
The citizen’s wireless communications committee was never informed by the Town that Verizon had submitted an application in January 2017, much less given an opportunity to review it and provide recommendations, as the Town’s own guidelines require.
The Town has never held a public hearing on the application in violation of the Town’s own administrative guidelines recommending not one but two public meetings.
The Town Council has relegated the decision to the City Manager to decide by the stroke of a pen instead of taking responsibility for the decision themselves.
The City Manager planned to approve all 16 cell towers on November 16th but for the public uproar over this lack of due process.
Other city councils have held public hearings and issued at least 30-days advance individualized notice to directly impacted residents AND assumed responsibility for the decision through a public vote of the council members.
The Cell Towers are Intrusive and Dangerous.
They will create a dangerous precedent. Other communities which have approved residential cell towers have fallen into this trap and are now fighting 80-foot towers and even 120-foot towers in their communities. Once installed, the wireless carrier has even more legal power to make it higher, bulkier, and more of an eyesore. 16 cell towers could metastasize to dozens or even hundreds more towers – there is no clear limiting principle to stop the spread. While it is Verizon today, tomorrow it will be Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile putting up huge cell towers in front of your house or your school or your park. Hillsborough could turn into a cell tower farm!
They will threaten your health. Radio frequency emissions above the federal guidelines as the proposed cell towers emit have been linked to cancer and serious adverse health effects. So even if the cell tower is not adjacent to your house, it could affect hundreds of homes in the emission radius. In fact, the Town requires the posting of a huge blue warning sign on each cell tower warning that the area exceeds federal guidelines for radio frequency emissions.
They will ruin the aesthetics of Hillsborough. We are a strictly residential, rural town historically known for “no street lamps and no sidewalks.” 55-foot cell towers looming over homes with bulky 10’ by 2’ coffin-size utility boxes strapped to them with no camouflage will create visual blight and destroy views. Cell towers should be away from homes in town-owned land open space!
They will tank property values. Studies have determined that homes in the blast radius of radio frequency-emitting cell towers lose 20% or more of their property value. Just think of the free fall of home prices when the Town is ringed with massive cell towers like an industrial park. And the existence of a cell tower near your property MUST be included in the disclosure packet when selling your home.
They could create a fire hazard. The 2007 Malibu Canyon fire was sparked by wireless equipment attached to a wooden utility pole, just as the Verizon plan calls for here in Hillsborough. The blaze burned 3,800 acres and destroyed dozens of homes and vehicles. Hillsborough is in the highest level fire risk area in the state.
We CAN stop the 16 Cell Towers!
1. Hillsborough has a mandatory legal duty to deny the cell tower project. It violates Hillsborough’s own Ordinance No. 720 by failing to sufficiently consider alternative designs to cell towers such as antennas on light poles or stop signs or fiber optic underground, and alternative locations for the sites, such as places away from homes on town-owned property (at any of 14 water storage facilities or in town construction yards) or open space. Plus, Verizon has failed to show that any gap in coverage is “truly significant” and “not merely dead spots within a greater service area” as legally required for such an extreme action as cell towers near homes. Moreover, Verizon surely has not proven and cannot prove that 16 massive cell towers near homes are the “least intrusive means” to address any possible issue.
2. The Town has discretion to deny the cell towers on aesthetics grounds alone. All Hillsborough has to do is enforce its own Ordinance that gives it that power which the Town adopted two years ago just for this reason. Numerous other cities such as San Francisco, Piedmont, Alamo, Palos Verdes, and Santa Margarita (to name a few) have recently denied cell tower projects in residential areas on aesthetic grounds. Federal and CA appeals courts have upheld this authority.
3. Hillsborough must start over as huge cell towers near homes are not the answer. There’s a right way and a wrong way to balance wireless availability and “important town needs, including the protection of public health, safety, welfare, aesthetics and local values,” per Hillsborough’s code.
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