Panel OKs cell phone towers

first_imgWHITTIER – The Planning Commission voted 4-1 Monday to approve cell phone towers at Founders and Palm parks, overriding a group of residents who complained they would be dangerous, unsightly and noisy. But despite the complaints in both cases, City Attorney Krista MacNevin Jee told the commission the federal government doesn’t allow them to even consider potential health concerns as long as it met the Federal Communications Commission’s standards. “The telecommunications act preempts any city, state or local government from doing anything on the basis of radio frequency emissions when the facility complies with FCC requirements,” Jee said. “It really ties your hands on that issue.” Still, Palm Park-area residents said they expect to appeal the Planning Commission’s actions to the City Council. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“I’m concerned about radio frequencies,” said Margo Diaz, who lives near Palm Park in West Whittier. “This tower is being placed in two spots where children play,” Diaz said. “You’re jeopardizing our future, our health and our lives. I was really shocked to hear the federal government allows this.” But an official representing Sprint and Nextel, which want to build the tower near Palm Park, said they commissioned a study that shows it is safe and within the FCC regulations. The study by DTech Communications found that the proposed cell tower would have emissions of .4 percent of the FCC limit. David Mesa, who also lives near Palm Park, said he fears the cell phone tower would be unsightly. “The cell towers I’ve seen are pretty ugly,” Mesa said. “Why couldn’t this be placed on the side of a freeway?” The proposed facility will be disguised to look like a pine tree, said Don Dooley, planning services manager. “The intent is to mimic the existing trees on the site.” The cell phone tower will be 60 feet high and located near the proposed Greenway Trail. Commissioner Helen Rahder, the only commissioner to oppose the cell tower, said she was concerned because it would be in a residential zone. “When you’re in a residential area, there’s a certain safety you anticipate,” Rahder said. “You don’t expect someone to put in a 7-Eleven, a 17-unit apartment or a big fake tree.” Commissioner Harry Stone said that there are cell towers throughout the city. “The ones that are successful, you don’t even know they’re there,” Stone said. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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