Palo Alto Verizon sWTF Plan Appealed to City Council

By Kevin Kelly | | Bay Area News Group; Original Article here.
PUBLISHED: April 17, 2018 at 1:29 pm

Palo Alto Cluster One Appeals

  1. Appeal — Ap-18-2: Herc Kwan, 2490 Louis Rd. (27 pages)
  2. Appeal — Ap-18-3: Francesca Kautz, 3324 South Court (8 pages)
  3. Appeal — AP-18-4: Christopher Lynn, 2802 Louis Rd. (5 pages)
  4. Appeal — AP-18-5: Jeanne Fleming, 2070 Webster St. (20 pages)
  5. Appeal — AP-18-6: RK Partharathy, 3409 Kenneth Dr. (12 pages)
  6. Appeal — AP-18-7: Russell Targ, 1010 Harriett St. (46 pages)
  7. Appeal — AP-18-8: Amrutha Kattamuri, 3189 Berryessa St. (126 pages)

More information at

May 9, 2018 CHE Webinar — Invisible Hazards: RF Microwave Radiation Hazards
and Steps Needed for Policy Changes

Grassroots groups fight utility’s plan to install 11 Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas (CPMRA) too close to homes in four residential neighborhoods

A photo illustration shows, at right, what a new Verizon cell antenna mounted atop an existing utility pole would look like along Suzanne Drive in Palo Alto. (City of Palo Alto)

Verizon’s plan to install CPMRA antennas in Palo Alto neighborhoods has sparked an outcry from residents who consider the fixtures an eyesore and want them covered underground.

The first phase of the plan calls for 11 small antennas in four neighborhoods, part of a Verizon Wireless project to install 93 utility pole-mounted systems throughout Palo Alto to boost wireless service.

“The only reason Verizon doesn’t want to vault its equipment is that under-grounding it is more expensive than placing it on utility poles,” Annette Fazzino, widow of former Mayor Gary Fazzino, said in a statement by United Neighbors, a grassroots group which has filed appeals with the city against the Verizon project.

“But saving money is not Palo Alto’s responsibility. Palo Alto’s responsibility is to preserve the quality of life in our neighborhoods, and we see no reason why this company should get a pass on adhering to the same aesthetics ordinances that the rest of us abide by.”

United Neighbors said the cities of Bern, Switzerland, and Rancho Palos Verdes require all or most telecom equipment to be stored in underground vaults.

In a statement, Verizon said it has worked with the Palo Alto community for more than two years on its small-cell design. “The appeal will only further delay our ability to provide the necessary network improvements to keep our customers connected,” Verizon publicist Heidi Flato wrote by email.

Given the intensity of the outcry, city staff decided to hold a public hearing on the Verizon project at the May 21 City Council meeting instead of placing it on the consent calendar as would normally happen.

Ruling in favor of Verizon, the city’s Architectural Review Board last month recommended allowing the devices to stay above ground. Verizon maintains it would not be able to underground the equipment while still meeting the city’s noise ordinance and other rules. The board advises Hillary Gitelman, the city’s Planning and Community Environment director, on project designs.

In appeals filed over the board’s recommendation, members of United Neighbors stated that Gitelman has given Verizon “the go-ahead to install hundreds of pounds of equipment on the utility poles at each location.” The 11 antennas are planned for the Midtown, Palo Verde, St. Claire Gardens and South of Midtown neighborhoods.

“It is our view that Palo Alto should be a leader in ensuring that the equipment required to support this service is thoughtfully integrated into residential neighborhoods,” United Neighbors member Jeanne Fleming wrote in her appeal.

“This means hiding it, not — as the Director’s decision would allow — mounting cheap, oversized equipment next to people’s homes — equipment that, in the words of Architectural Review Board member Robert Gooyer (who voted against the plan) — is ‘butt ugly.’ ”