City of Fremont Demographics
Fremont is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in the Bay Area. Our residents are highly educated with high-paying jobs in a variety of business sectors. See our Community Profile for more demographic information. View the Investment Profile to learn more about Fremont’s strong economic environment.
- Population: 234,220
- Number of Households: 76,000
- Average Household Income: $114,000
- Education: 59.9% of residents have Bachelors, Graduate, or Professional degrees
- Estimated Annual Household Spending Potential: $2.7 billion
- View. below, or at 32:30 . . . Jan 14 Fremont City Council Meeting https://fremontca.viebit.com/player.php?hash=3JqenCRcHcga
- Link to City of Fremont Newsletter, inviting public participation on Jan 14, 2020 sWTF agenda item
City of Fremont Contacts
- Link to Lily Mei email@example.com, Mayor, 510-284-4011 | Term Expires: 12/2024
- Link to Teresa Keng firstname.lastname@example.org, Councilmember, District 1, 510-284-4012 | Term Expires: 12/2024
- Link to Rick Jones email@example.com, Councilmember, District 2, 510-284-4083 | Term Expires: 12/2022
- Link to Jenny Kassan firstname.lastname@example.org, Councilmember, District 3, 510-284-4018 | Term Expires: 12/2022
- Link to Yang Shao email@example.com, Vice Mayor, District 4, 510-284-4019| Term Expires: 12/2022
- Link to Raj Salwan firstname.lastname@example.org, Councilmember, District 5, 510-284-4082 | Term Expires: 12/2024
- Link to Teresa Cox email@example.com, Councilmember, District 6, 510-284-4007 | Term Expires: 12/2024
Key City Staff
- Link to Karena Shackelford firstname.lastname@example.org — City Manager, 510-284-4000
- Link to Brian Stott email@example.com — Assistant City Manager, 510-284-4000
- Link to Susan Gauthier firstname.lastname@example.org — City Clerk, 510-284-4060
- Link to Dilip Kishnani email@example.com — Principal Civil Engineer Public Works 510-494-4736
- Link to Hans Larsen firstname.lastname@example.org — Public Works Director, 510-494-4722
- Link to Homira Shafaq email@example.com — Public Works, 510-494-4780
- Link to Joel Pullen firstname.lastname@example.org — Planning, 510-494-4436
Fremont City Council Meeting on Oct 19, 2021
Oct 19, 2021 Fremont Residents’ Testimony
My name is ______ and I am the father of two children, five years old and six-months old. I am here to protect them and defend my home from an unconstitutional invasion from Big Wireless.
I attest and affirm that the following statements are true, accurate, and within my personal knowledge.
Families with young children like mine are very busy around the Christmas holidays, for obvious reasons . . . the very reasons that Big Wireless Cos. choose this time to ram through local laws that benefit them, at the expense of residents.
On Dec 17, 2019, there was a first reading on changes to the City of Fremont Wireless Ordinance and then on Jan 14, 2020 there was a second reading and vote. There was also a presentation by the Wireless industry that night, the proponents, without equal time given to opponents of this eminent-domain style “taking” of property. The Master License Agreements were voted through that same evening. Did Fremont city staff and city council members complete thorough due diligence and deliberation on these matters? The evidence is in the City Council videos and the answer is NO.
Fast forward to today and I find that there is a so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facility (WTF) being constructed 20 feet from my home today, with three Ericcson Street Macro 6701 antennas being installed about 20 feet off the ground.
I am here to inform you that the evidence in the City of Fremont public record sets the stage: our local government cannot allow any Wireless Co. to power on that WTF until we hear back from the FCC regarding the active complaint against this WTF. That is straight from Garnet Hanly, the Division Chief of the Competition & Infrastructure Policy Division, FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and her staff.
Similar FCC complaints citing NEPA rule § 1.1307, Table 1 in Sonoma, CA and Thousand Oaks, CA have resulted in those towers never being completed. That is because the rule I am citing states that a NEPA Environmental Assessment is required for “Cellular Radiotelephone Service “Non-building-mounted antennas: height above ground level to lowest point of the antenna is less than 10 meters and the total power of all channels is greater than 1,000 Watts ERP.”
The application for this antenna fits this rule by technical specs and because the date the applicant officially expressed interest in this site was between August 9, 2019 and May 3, 2021. The wireless applicant violated federal law by not providing evidence of any NEPA review for this WTF, let alone the Environmental Assessment required by this rule.
Such negligence by the applicant means their license to transmit 28,000 MHz in the City of Fremont is now in question. That question can only be answered by the FCC. Until the City hears back from the FCC, the entire project is in purgatory. It would be violate Federal law to finish the project at this time.
I have expressed no matter of concern but solely matters of substance, fact and law. I accept your oath of office.
I am ______, founder of both Wire America and Wire California, organizations dedicated to preserving local control over the placement construction and operations of Wireless Telecommunications Facilities of any size or any “G”. We advocate for broadband via Fiber Optics & only calls and texts via Wireless.
I am here tonight to assist the residents of Fremont. I attest and affirm that the following statements are true, accurate, and within my personal knowledge.
I worked alongside Fremont residents, to complete a weekend of research about the City of Fremont’s activities since Dec 2019 that unnecessarily revised its Wireless Ordinance to allow so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (sWTFs) into residential areas using a ministerial, instead of the far better discretionary approach. This research culminated in the detailed Oct 18 email from Karanveer Bains to the Fremont City Council and staff and a formal complaint to the FCC for the so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (sWTFs) at 38329 Bronson St. in Fremont.
In 2017, our team opposed Senate Bill 649, a wireless industry-sponsored bill that would have curtailed local control over the placement of Wireless Telecommunications Facilities. We defeated that bill and this year, we defeated a very similar industry-sponsored bill, Senate Bill 556 — the “Destroy Local Control & Child Endangerment” Wireless Bill.
Our team worked full-time from April through October, to preserve local control over the placement of wireless infrastructure and we won again.
On October 4, Gov. Newsom vetoed SB.556, writing in his veto letter:
“The provisions of SB.556, conflict with and complicate FCC requirements . . . so it would be imprudent to codify these requirements in state law . . . There is a role for local governments in advancing California’s broadband efforts. Part of our achievements laid out in the broadband budget bill, AB.156, enables and encourages local governments to take an active role in last mile broadband deployment.”
This news means that there is now an immediate need to update Fremont’s current wireless ordinance because the current ordinance is wholly unnecessary. It is far too industry-friendly and does not strike a good balance between gold-plating the profits of an already a trillion-dollar wireless industry at the expense of residents, constituents and taxpayers who face
- imminent public safety harms,
- unconstitutional privacy and surveillance harms and
- up to 20% losses in property values
. . . all due to your City’s ill-considered and unjust policies.
Now for even more game-changing news. As you learned by email yesterday, the nation’s wireless broadband agenda irrevocably changed on Friday the 13th in August 2021 due to a US Court of Appeals ruling in Case 20-1025, Environmental Health Trust and Children’s Health Defense et al. v the FCC.
On August 13, the DC Circuit ruled that the FCC’s Dec 2019 attempt to continue to use its unscientific limits for human exposure to RF Microwave radiation — and extend it to frequencies higher than 6,000 MHz — was “arbitrary and capricious.”
The DC Circuit judges wrote on Aug 13:
“We grant the petitions in part and remand to the Commission. The Commission failed to provide a reasoned explanation for its determination that its guidelines adequately protect against the harmful effects of exposure to radio-frequency [microwave] radiation . . .”
This national court ruling demands immediate, urgent policy changes from the City of Fremont.
I have expressed no matter of concern but solely matters of substance, fact and law. I accept your oath of office.
I am ______ and I live in Fremont. Thank you for the time to speak tonight.
I attest and affirm that the following statements are true, accurate, and within my personal knowledge and and will continue the testimony from the previous speaker.
The DC Circuit judges stated on Aug 13, 2021 that the FCC had ignored over 11,000 pages of peer-reviewed scientific literature that concludes adverse biological effects from RF Microwave Radiation, including damages to brains, hearts memory and fertility, with children being even more vulnerable than adults. In an extraordinary rebuke, the court ordered the FCC to
“address the impacts of RF microwave radiation on children, the health implications of long-term exposure to RF microwave radiation, and the ubiquity of wireless devices and infrastructure antennas . . . that have occurred since the Commission adopted an existing RF microwave radiation guideline from industry in 1996.”
This court’s ruling also highlighted that
- Relevant US agencies have not reviewed research on the adverse impacts of RF microwave radiation to flora and fauna;
- There is strong evidence of harm from long-term exposures from Wireless Telecommunications Facilities
- Children have unique vulnerability
- The science established adverse negative health effects from RF microwave radiation pollution at levels that are hundreds of thousands of times lower than the current FCC RF microwave radiation exposure regulation.
In short, the City of Fremont and its City Attorney can no longer rely on the FCC Microwave radiation regulation to deliver actual public safety. This is no longer business as ususal. Urgent changes are needed in Fremont because the City of Fremont’s Job 1 is to deliver actual public safety.
The Dec 2019 FCC Order 19-126 was remanded back to the FCC which means that whatever the FCC attempted in this order, has been wiped out and sent back to be fixed. That leaves the wireless industry without any RF Microwave regulation for frequencies higher than 6,000 MHz, since the RF regulations all derive from Specific Absorption Rate, or SAR.
So all of those Verizon permits your City recently issued for Erricson 6701 Macro antennas — antennas that output 28,000 MHz of RF microwave radiation — have no FCC RF microwave radiation regulation because the FCC’s SAR regulations only covers frequencies up to 6,000 MHz.
That means that your City cannot legally allow operation of any of these antennas in Fremont until the FCC completes a thorough, credible environmental review of its so-called “Small” Wireless Telecommunication Facility agenda, as mandated by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in both Aug 2019 and again in Aug 2021.
The Aug 13, 2021 DC Ciruit ruling has to be seen in context with an earlier DC Circuit ruling from Aug 2019, as the other speakers will cover.
I have expressed no matter of concern but solely matters of substance, fact and law. I accept your oath of office.
I am ______. Fremont is my home. Thank you for my time to speak tonight.
I attest and affirm that the following statements are true, accurate, and within my personal knowledge.
The Aug 2021 Ruling in the DC Circuit must be viewed in context of
- The 1996 Telecommunications Act,
- The 2005 Ninth Circuit Ruling in Metro PCS v San Francisco, and
- The Apr 2019 CA Supreme Court ruling in T-Mobile v San Francisco
Mayor and City Council members, you derive your authority and police power from the California constitution and State laws, not from the FCC. The FCC has no say over local zoning matters. None.
This is clearly stated in the 1996-TCA: Title 47 US Code Section 332(a)(7) “Preservation of Local Zoning Authority”, which states in paragraph (A):General authority.
“Except as provided in this paragraph, nothing in this Act shall limit or affect the authority of a State or local government . . . over decisions regarding the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities.”
Paragraph (A) was followed by a few narrow federal preemptions of local authority in Paragraph (B) for the purpose of establishing a nationwide wireless telecommunications network. Telecommunications, in 2021, is only the making of outdoor wireless phone calls. Full stop. It does not include wireless broadband, data capacity or whatever term the wireless industry tries to sell you.
You are bound by rulings in the Ninth Circuit and US Supreme Court, not by rulings in any other circuit. The 2005 Ninth Circuit Ruling in Metro PCS v San Francisco clearly defines both “significant gap in coverage” and “least intrusive means” to fill said gap in terms of the ability to make outdoor wireless phone calls in most places, not every place conceivable.
There is no mention of in-building coverage, capacity or wireless broadband in any of these Federal preemption laws and court rulings. The law is clear. Once a region has the ability to make outdoor wireless phjone calls, the preemption of local authority ends. That describes Fremont today.
You are also bound by CA Supreme Court rulings, including the Apr 2019 ruling in T-Mobile v San Francisco: which states:
“The City has inherent local police power to determine the appropriate uses of land within its jurisdiction . . . the word ‘incommode’ means ‘to give inconvenience or distress to:’ . . . “ ‘to give trouble to; to disturb or molest in the quiet enjoyment of something”
“. . . other uses may be incommoded beyond the obstruction of travel . . . For example, lines or equipment might
- generate noise,
- cause negative health consequences, or
- create safety concerns.
All these impacts could disturb public road use, or disturb its quiet enjoyment.”
City Council members, noise is much broader than just audible sound. Noise includes pulsed, modulated RF microwave radiation. You have the duty to protect the quiet enjoyment of streets in Fremont.
I am ______ and I live in Fremont, a proud Fremont resident. Thank you for listening to my evidence and testimony tonight.
I attest and affirm that the following statements are true, accurate, and within my personal knowledge.
Let’s get real [pause] very, very real. [pause look at the camera]
City Council members, there are no excuses you can provide for not using your police powers to follow the Apr 2019 CA Supreme court ruling and take action to protect the quiet enjoyment of streets in Fremont, to deliver actual public safety and put a stop the unconstitutional surveillance that so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities bring to residential neighborhoods. We have inalienable rights to both privacy and safety in California, guaranteed by Article I, Section 1 of the California constitution.
You have a duty to act based on the substantial written evidence we are placing in your public record tonight. You can no longer hide behind the debunked, unscientific FCC RF Microwave radiation regulation. 11,000 pages of peer-reviewed scientific evidence of harms from RF Microwave radiation — at levels far below that allowed by the FCC RF regulation — were compiled by the Children’s Health Defense for their Aug 13, 2021 landmark victory against the FCC. The court ordered the FCC to read this evidence and consider it when making its policies.
We are placing this same 11,000 pages of evidence into the City of Fremont Public record. City Council members, you are our local government and you have the delegated authority and obligation to deliver actual public safety to your residents. Full stop.
The jig is up. Whatever happened in December 2019 and January 2020 to allow “Small Cells” into Fremont’s residential zones without sufficient local regulation must now be addressed and changed. Your local laws are not consistent with Federal statutes including but not limited to the
- the 1996 Telecommunications Act
- the National Environmental Policy Act
- the Americans with Disabilities Act
- the Fair Housing Amendments Act
Our local government is bound to follow the plain reading of Federal telecom laws, Ninth Circuit case laws, DC Circuit rulings and Supreme Court Rulings both in California and in the US Supreme Court. You are not similarly bound to follow presumptive FCC Orders. Such orders are mere presumptions and wireless industry wish lists that have not yet been tested in case-by-case adjudication as admitted by the FCC attorneys themselves in the Feb 2020 oral arguments in US Court of Appeals Case Local Govt. vs the FCC regarding the Sept 2018 FCC “Small Cell Order”.
When you unpack these Court rulings carefully, you will learn that the FCC’s Small Cell agenda has crumbled between 2019 and 2021 because the FCC has been serial losers in Federal Court and we expect even more losses in 2022.
When you see the Wireless industry’s response to the evidence that secured the ruling in the Aug 13, 2021 Ruling in Environmental Health Trust et al v FCC, things will have to change in Fremont.
My name is ______ and I have lived in Fremont for a long time. I attest and affirm that the following statements are true, accurate, and within my personal knowledge.
The city of Fremont is unwittingly assuming massive financial liability with its ill-considered “Small Cell” policies because the City staff and Council members were played by the Wireless industry.
The City was tricked into taking on Big Wireless’ liabilities when the City decided to rent the public’s light poles to be used as cell towers, without completing sufficient due diligence or passing sufficient local regulations. You hands were never tied. That was just another lie from Big Wireless.
I am entering into the public record this evening a 2017 letter — a legal analysis from attorney Harry Lehmann to the California Assembly Appropriations committee. The letter outlines the liability transfer inherent in Wireless industry Master Licensing Agreements. The letter describes the Doctrine of Fixtures and this analysis was the one that moved the votes in both state houses and shot down Senate Bill SB.649, the Small Cell Bill that was vetoed by Gov. Brown on Oct 15, 2017.
With all of the shenanigans that have been serially-perpetrated by the FCC on behalf of the Wireless industry from 2017-2021, it is no surprise that the largest re-insurers in the world, including Lloyd’s of London, Swiss Re and AM Best – over a decade ago – evaluated the independent science about adverse biological effects from wireless RF Microwave radiation and specifically excluded all claims of injury, illness or death from RF Microwave radiation from any General Liability insurance policies.
The smart money acted. They do not want another asbestos debacle on their hands.
Surprise! The Wireless industry is busy transferring these liabilities to the City of Fremont, which means that, under the current scheme, any future claims will be paid by the taxpayers to cover the disasters created by Big Wireless’ defective service.
How does Big Wireless plays this chess game?
- Big Wireless hires a third party agent to file permits and build cell towers in order to shield Big Wireless companies from the very liabilities that they disclose to their investors in quarterly 10-k statements.
- Big Wireless falsely claims that compliance with an FCC RF regulation equals safety, when it does not.
- Big Wireless depends on overworked city staffers to not catch on to the nuances of these chess moves.
- Big Wireless files incomplete applications and lies their way to the bank day, after day, making it even harder to sue them.
All of this is the definition of bad faith. Big Wireless played all of you in late 2019 and early 2020. Big Wireless simply hid these facts from the City of Fremont. The intentional hiding of these facts gives the City Council the ability to cancel all current Master License Agreements with Big Wireless due to fraud in the inducement.
I recommend you do so, as soon as possible and demand sufficient self-insurance from Big Wireless Cos. — making them explicitly liable for any future claims of injury, illness or death from RF Microwave radiation.
My name is ______. I am sister of Karenveer and the aunt of his two children, who mean the world to me. I am in my early 30’s, just like the woman living in a Sacramento home that had a so-called “small” cell operating in front of her family’s home from December, 2019 through August 13, 2021.
The key phrases here are “had operated” and the date “August 13, 2021” — the date of the DC Circuit ruling that irrevocably changed the Wireless World.
Here is the real life story of a couple of Little Red Riding Hoods and the Big Bad Wolf — Big Red’s full-power cell tower at the sidewalk in front of the Red Riding Hoods’ home.
In Winter 2019, the three-year-old and six-year-old little girls sleeping in the bedroom above the garage sickened with microwave radiation illness within a few weeks of Big Red powering on its Wolf — as diagnosed by their Medical Doctor.
Do you remember that CA Supreme Court April 4, 2019 ruling in T-Mobile v San Francisco? The judges wrote:
“uses may be incommoded beyond the obstruction of travel . . . For example wireless equipment might . . . cause negative health consequences . . . Such impacts could disturb disturb the quiet enjoyment of streets.”
Well, the word “streets” doesn’t just mean the pavement and the sidewalk, it also means the quiet enjoyment of one’s front yard and bedroom, where these little girls tried to sleep.
Our two Little Red Riding Hoods — through no fault of their own — when in their bedroom could not sleep, suffered migraine headaches, developed unexplained flu symptoms, strange twitches and even started depression. They were forced to move out of their bedroom and the family had to spend over $15,000 to shield their home. The family completely lost the use of their front yard. This is an unjust and unnecessary “taking” of property.
Negative health consequences were documented at this home. Negative [pause] health [pause] consequences [pause] . . . from RF microwave radiation pollution from infrastructure antennas are solidly on the table for cities to consider in their wireless siting policies, per the CA Supreme Court.
Professional RF measurements of the small cell showed that the average RF microwave radiation in the bedroom was metered at 30 million times higher than needed for “5-bars” telecommunications service.
The fact that this excessive level of RF Microwave radiation is compliant with FCC RF regulations proves that wireless facilities of any size or any “G” don’t belong anywhere near homes, schools, parks, medical or care facilities — in order to preserve the quiet enjoyment of streets.
The RF measurement data and medical data from this Sacramento home were placed in the FCC’s record in the Environmental Health Trust/Children’s Health Defense lawsuit, which received a landmark ruling on August 13, 2021 — the day the family learned that Big Red powered off its Big Bad Wolf.
Was this a coincidence? Highly unlikely. The Wolf has remained off through today. This is full recognition by Big Red that there are Big Problems with their Wolves. This data is now in the City of Fremont’s public record, as well.
We invite the City of Fremont to work with its well-informed residents to represent the interests of its residents, constituents and taxpayers and overhaul its outdated, misguided, unconstitutional and unjust wireless facility ordinance and design guidelines.
Fremont City Council Meeting on Jan 14, 2020
The Wireless Industry propaganda in this presentation by your city went unopposed???
Paul G Interview on Aug 31, 2021
Listen to what Happened on Aug 13, 2021 that changed the Wireless world for good — the City of Fremont needs to immediately pivot.
Northern Fremont sWTF Plan – Yikes!
Southern Fremont sWTF Plan – Double Yikes!
Link to & How to Use the City of Fremont sWTF Map
sWTF = so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facility
The purpose of this map is designed to help residents view the locations of 4G and 5G antennas in their neighborhood. The map also serves as a tool for wireless carriers to view where small cell deployment is active (installed and turned on), reserved, or in pending status. The viewer has tools and features that allow the user to filter, print, and measure the distance of a small cell site relative to a location of interest.
The map has been developed as a public service to help the public view the deployment of small cell technology infrastructure and to help provide better wireless coverage throughout the City of Fremont. For more information, please visit the sWTF Project Website.
Use the Icons on the left side of the viewer to access the menus
- About – General information about the Fremont sWTF Map
- Legend – Shows the various symbols in the Viewer
- Pending – Service Provider has applied to reserve a Small Cell Facility at this street light location (Pole License). The application is under review with City of Fremont Public
- Reserved – City staff has reviewed and approved this location for Small Cell installation.
Service Provider must submit and obtain Encroachment Permits to install Small Cell
- Active – Small Cell Facility has been installed and is operational by the Service Provider
at this pole location.
- Relinquished – City has reviewed and approved this location for Small Cell Facility. Following the reservation, the Service Provider has failed to obtain Encroachment Permits to install Small Cell Facility within the specified time period of 45 days after reservation. This pole location is now available for other providers if needed.
- Denied – City has reviewed and denied an application for Small Cell installation at this location.
- Pending – Service Provider has applied to reserve a Small Cell Facility at this street light location (Pole License). The application is under review with City of Fremont Public
- Filter – View Small Cell locations based on specified criteria
- Layers List – Turn on or off various layers in the Viewer
- License Status – Filter small cell facility locations based on status described above.
- Owner – Filter small cell facilities based on who owns and installs the equipment on the street light pole on behalf of a service provider.
- Provider – Filter small cell facilities based on the service provider who utilizes the equipment installed on the street light pole (typically Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.)
Please note that the Provider can be the same as the Owner, but the Owner need not
always be the Provider.
- Network Type – Filter small cell facilities based on the type of wireless network, 5G, 6G, etc.
- Other Panels – Contains various map tools, features, and links
- Measurement – Measure the distance between points on the map or find the Latitude and Longitude coordinates at a location on the map.
- Near Me – Shows Small Cell locations within a specified distance (up to 0.5 miles) from a location on the map.
- Base Map Gallery – Choose from a selection of base background maps to be used with the Public Viewer.
- Print – Print a map of the location currently shown in the ‘Small Cell License – Public Viewer’ in specified layout and format. User can specify map scale and toggle labels &
legend on or off
City of Fremont, CA Annotated Staff Report 3979
Original Jan 14, 2020 Staff Report 3979 here
Wire-America: annotations are in green boxes, like this.
So-Called “Small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities
- Approval of a Master License Agreement Form for the Non-Exclusive Installation of Small Cell Telecommunications Facilities and Use of City Streetlight Poles in the Public Right-of-Way;
- Authorize the City Manager or Designee to Execute Master License Agreements with Wireless Providers and
- Authorize the City Manager or Designee to Issue Pole Licenses for City Streetlight Poles in the Public Right-of-Way;
- Adopt a Resolution to Amend the Master Fee Schedule to Include the Administrative Fee
- Department: Public Works
- Category: Agreements and Contracts
- Staff report PDF
- Draft Resolution- Master Fee Schedule Amendment
- Master License Agreement Form for the installation of so-called “small” wireless telecommunication facilities on City light poles
- Joint Venture Silcon Valley List of Publications on 4G/G, sWTFs, EMFs and RF Microwave radiation
Executive Summaryy: The purpose of this report is to facilitate a consistent and streamlined process for licensing City streetlight poles to wireless telecommunications providers for the installation and operation of small cell facilities, in compliance with federal regulations which restrict local agencies from denying access to City owned light poles.
Wire-America: The magenta text, above, is wrong.
Background Growth in Demand for Wireless Data
The telecommunications industry is ever evolving and the adoption of smart phones, mobile web browsing and streaming video has led to exponential growth in demand for wireless data transfer and increased download speeds to meet customer expectations.
Wire-America: But the City of Fremont laws must be consistent with federal and state statutes and understand the distinction between the following:
- Wireless Telecommunications Service (outdoor wireless phone calls), for which some federal preemption exists and
- Wireless Information Service (internet, audio/video streaming, apps) which has NO FEDERAL PREEMPTION.
The City of Fremont laws must be also be consistent with the Telecom-related State of California, US Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit and US Supreme Court case law. Unfortunately, the current City of Fremont Wireless Ordinance (any many FCC Orders) are inconsistent with these foundational statutes and case law.
Why is the city printing such Wireless industry propaganda in their report, without completing sufficient due diligence on the pros and cons of a densified 4G/5G Wireless grid installed in residential zones? Such a densified 4G/5G Wireless Grid policy is also inconsistent with the City of Fremont’s General Plan.
This need will be even greater with the evolution and implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the next generation (5G) mobile connectivity. To address this current and future need, wireless telecommunications providers are deploying more compact, localized “small cell” stations to supplement the shortfalls of traditional macro cell stations.
Wire-America: Any 4G/5G/Future-G wireless grid must be constructed in such a way that will provide actual public safety and regulate/mitigate against the obvious privacy, surveillance and property value harms created by such so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (sWTFs). The current Fremont scheme fails on all counts, falsely buying into the “our hands are tied” myth.
Any government of the people, by the people and for the people can and should right this shipwreck of a policy, in light of recent and important US Court of Appeals DC Circuit Court and CA Supreme Court rulings:
- Aug 13, 2021 — Case No. 20-1025: EHT/CHD et al. v FCC
- Aug 12, 2020 — Case No. 18-72689 City of Portland et al. v FCC
- Oct 1, 2019 — Case. 18-1051 Mozilla et al. v FCC
- Aug 9, 2019 — Case No. 18-1129 Keetoowah et al. v FCC
- Apr 4, 2019 — Case No. S238001 T-Mobile v San Francisco
- . . .and one not so recent from 2005 — Case 03-16759 Metro-PCS v San Francisco
Overall, the City has an interest in having a reliable wireless infrastructure network to serve the communication needs of City residents and businesses, and for public services, especially emergency communications and advanced transportation system management. From an economic development perspective, having robust communication services available is important to retaining and attracting industries related to health care services, and autonomous vehicles.
Currently, within Fremont, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint are the dominant wireless service providers. Other companies may also install and own small cell facilities and lease them to wireless providers. Some of these companies are Crown Castle, ExteNet Systems, and Mobilitie.
The two most common characteristics used to describe wireless cellular signals are coverage and capacity.
Wire-America: The laws and case law address only coverage. Capacity is a wireless indusry desire/idea that is not supported by current laws or case law. The test for preemption is simply the ability to make an outdoor wireless call without a signicant gap in coverage. There is no preemption to achieve the wireless industry’s business goal for “capacity”, a confusing term that has different meanings . . . PROPAGANDA ALERT.
Coverage describes the area of reach, and capacity describes the volume of data traffic.
Wire-America: Capacity means different things on different days. Sometimes it means the number of simultaneous calls that can be handled by any particular Wireless Telecommunications Facility (WTF). Other times it refers to “volume of data traffic”. However wireless data for internet, audio/video streaming or the hyped and not yet existing “Internet of Things” pipe dream is NOT part of telecommunications service; they are all information services and, therefore, do not qualify for preemption of local authority.
Over flat terrain, a macro station may provide coverage for a radius of several miles. In a suburban area, with lower levels of data traffic than an urban area center, a macro cell station may have sufficient capacity to meet the data traffic needs of the area it serves. By contrast, tall, dense buildings in an urban environment create physical barriers to radio frequencies, limiting the potential coverage area of a cell station. Likewise, densely populated areas with high levels of data traffic require more capacity.
Small cell stations are designed to provide both localized coverage and the capacity to supplement the data capacity of macro cell sites.
Wire-America: The key thing is that if sWTFs lack the ability to control the placing of wireless calls — on their own — sWTFs do not provide “covered services” (wireless phone call service). That makes sWTFs solely information service infrastructure and THEY DO NOT qualify, under CPUC regulations, to have by right claims in the public rights-of-way. That decision is a local one, managed by the City of Fremont.
A small cell station is a wireless telecommunications
device [service infrastructure facility] consisting mainly of a radio receiver, antenna and power-related equipment that are typically placed on city-owned streetlights located in the public right-of-way.
Wire-America: This statement is false. A sWTF is an information service infrastructure facility. It can be regulated by the City of Fremont.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has historically determined that wireless providers [of wireless telecommunications service] are a utility and, therefore, have all the rights of use of the public right-of-way as any other telecommunications utility under the Public Utilities Code section 7901.
Wire-America: Such rights do not accrue to wireless providers of wireless information service.
The public rights-of-way contain existing overhead infrastructure, such as utility poles, traffic signals, and streetlights that can support wireless telecommunication facilities. For example, small cell facilities can be installed on wood poles owned by PG&E or the provider can elect to install their own poles, and the City has very limited discretion over such installations.
Wire-America: This is also false. The City has its Zoning laws which cannot be preempted by FCC regulation. The City of Fremont can decide in which Zones to allow Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) of any size or any “G”, subject to the tests of “significant gap” in wireless telecommunications service (proven by substantial written evidence in the public record) and “least intrusive means” to close such a proven “significant gap”. No FCC Order can cancel the state of California Case law from the 2005 Case 03-16759 Metro-PCS v San Francisco.
Moreover, the Federal Communications Commission has interpreted the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to preempt cities and other local agencies from denying wireless providers access to government owned structures in the public right-of-way.
Wire-America: FCC interpretations are presumptions and guidance which are the wish lists of the wireless industry. However, any FCC Order must be consistent with the underlying statutes, the 1934 Communications Act and its amendments: the 1996 Telecommunications Act and the 2012 Spectrum Act. FCC Order 18-133 from September 2018 was admitted to be such a presumptive order, needing case-by-case adjudication in the courts.
As a result, the City can merely regulate the use of the public right-of-way and its facilities in the public right-of-way, rather than prohibiting the use by wireless providers.
Wire-America: This is straight out of the Wireless industry playbook and is simply not true.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
On September 26, 2018, the FCC issued its Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order in the Matter of Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment, WT Docket Nos. 17-79 and 17-84 (the
Wire-America: It is very clever to confuse the “Order” for the “Ruling” to make it sound more authoritative. This is another Wireless Industry propaganda trick. The city of Fremont staff took the bait, as they were “coached” by the Wireless industry.
The Ruling states that a local agency may not charge wireless carriers more than the agency’s reasonable costs incurred in connection with the use of its infrastructure in public right-of-way to locate small cell wireless facilities. In Paragraph 76, the Ruling establishes presumptively valid charges of $100 per small cell facility as an initial application charge, in addition to a recurring annual charge of $270 per pole.
Wire-America: Note the key word — “presumptively — which means this idea and many others are merely FCC presumptions, not federal law. These ideas can be challenged in court to determine if they are consistent with the underlying statutes.
The City maintains that the Ruling violates the Fifth and Tenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, insofar as the Ruling:
(1) purports that local agencies control the public right-of-way and infrastructures in their regulatory capacities only, and not as proprietors;
(2) limits the ability of local agencies to control the placement of wireless facilities on agency property within the public right-of-way; and
(3) limits the maximum amount that a local agency may charge for the use of its facilities in the public right-of-way by private wireless carriers.
On the contrary, it is the City’s position that it holds City infrastructure, including streetlight poles, in the public right-of-way in its proprietary capacity, and that it may therefore charge whatever the market will bear for the use of its facilities. The parties agree that in entering into this Master License or taking any action in connection herewith, the City is in no manner waiving its objections to the
Wire-America: Nice words . . . but the City of Fremont rolled over like a little mouse in negotiating the Master license agreements. They did not “promote safety of life and property” in these MLAs, as the 1996-TCA states that all parties must.
The City, currently, does not have an agreement to manage the requests to use City streetlight poles for the deployment of small cell facilities in the public right-of-way, which leaves the City without a consistent and streamlined approval process for the scale of small cell station expansion that is anticipated and required under federal law.
Wire-America: The City of Fremont embarked on this policy change without sufficient due diligence, particularly with regard to the lack of adequate insurance from the Wireless Cos. — AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile/Sprint, Crown Castle, Extenet and Mobilitie — to cover claims of injury, illness or death Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation. This transfers the liabilities to the City due to the Doctrine of Fixtures, explained to the CA Legislature in a seminal letter from attorney Harry Lehmann in 2017.
Over the last year, the City has received considerable and persistent interest from telecommunications providers to install and operate “small cell stations” on city-owned streetlights. In order to address market demand and comply with federal regulations, in a manner that manages impacts on City staff resources and provides for cost recovery, an administrative process has been developed that consists of:
A Master License Agreement (MLA) – a standardized agreement form proposed to be approved by the City Council and executed by the City Manager with individual wireless communication providers. The MLA includes an annual charge for the use of City streetlight poles supporting small cell equipment.
A Pole License Agreement – a license with a wireless communication provider allowing for the installation of small cell equipment on a specific streetlight pole, in accordance with the MLA.
An Administrative Fee – a one-time amount charged to wireless communication providers is established to recover staff costs associated with the processing of Pole License Agreements.
The Proposed Master License Agreement (MLA) Form
The MLA form is a comprehensive document that contains uniform terms and conditions applicable to all wireless facilities installed on city-owned streetlight poles. The proposed MLA establishes the procedures for issuance of a license to use an individual City-owned pole. Individual pole licenses issued pursuant to the MLA would identify the licensed pole and contain detailed exhibits for the site plans, fee schedules, insurance documentation, surety, and other materials that are unique to the site. A ministerial design review permit and an encroachment permit would be required in addition to the MLA. A Radio Frequency (RF) Compliance Report would be provide to the City prior to the encroachment permit being finalized.
The MLA form would be used for all telecommunication providers that have requested to use City-owned streetlights. The City would issue pole licenses on a first-come-first-serve basis for a ten-year period with an annual license fee. Pole licenses will expire if the small cell equipment installations do not occur in a timely manner, in an effort to avoid a “land grab” of poles designed to prevent market access by competing wireless service providers.
By using the same form for all the companies, there is only one set of rules and the administrative burden on the City is reduced. Moreover, federal law requires local agencies to treat all wireless providers equally, and using the same contract form accomplishes this requirement. With this arrangement, the providers benefit by reducing costs associated with negotiating individual pole licenses and allowing deployment of small cell facilities with a streamlined process.
Among the key terms and conditions of the proposed MLA are:
Restrictions on Placement on Decorative Light Poles and near Historic Resources: Small cell equipment will only be allowed on standard City streetlight poles and not on decorative light poles or within 100 feet of a historic resource.
Aesthetic Design Standards: Small cell equipment must comply with City Design Guidelines. Equipment shall have a matching color and blend in with the streetlight pole and have an attractive appearance, with no exposed wiring. Equipment must be compact and not protrude more than 4 inches from the pole.
Wire-America: There is NO NEED for Such Aesthetic Design Standards, per the August 12, 2020 Ruling in Case No. 18-72689 City of Portland et al. v FCC
Link to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Case No. 18-72689 City of Portland et al. v FCC re: repeal of FCC Orders 18-111 and 18-133. The full video of the oral argument is featured at the top of this page.
The judges ruled:
We therefore hold that the FCC’s requirement in the Small Cell Order that aesthetic regulations be “no more burdensome” than regulations applied to other infrastructure deployment is contrary to the controlling statutory provision. See 47 U.S.C. § 332(c)(7)(B)(i)(II).
We also hold that the FCC’s requirement that all local aesthetic regulations be “objective” is not adequately explained and is therefore arbitrary and capricious.
- GRANT the petitions as to those requirements,
- VACATE those portions of the rule and
- REMAND them to the FCC.”
On the FCC Order’s 18-133 Proposed 60-day shotclocks, the Ninth Circuit judges wrote:
“It must be remembered that the ‘shot clock requirements create only presumptions’. As under the 2009 Order, if permit applicants seek an injunction to force a faster decision, local officials can show that additional time is necessary under the circumstances.”
FCC Order 18-133: Streamline Small Cell Deployment Order
FCC Order -18-133: (Sept 2018) Streamline Small Cell Deployment Order is only an interpretive, presumptive order; it is not a self-enforcing order. This means that it is only a statement of preferences and it cannot wipe out Ninth circuit case law.
MLA Term: Ten years with two five-year extensions with approval by the City. During this period, Licensee can apply for individual pole licensees under the terms of the MLA. This period should be sufficient amount of time for the telecommunication providers to recoup their capital investments.
Annual License Charge: $270 per pole per year and the City has the ability to recalculate this charge as described in Section 4.1.6 “License Charge Recalculation” of the agreement in the event that the FCC Ruling has been revoked, rescinded, stayed or determined to be unenforceable by a court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction.
License Charge Adjustment: The License Charge increases three percent (3%) per year, effective at the beginning of the calendar year.
Pole License Term: Every pole license will automatically expire with the term of the MLA.
Pole License Administrative Fee: $400 per pole license application for the first year and annually adjusted thereafter at three percent (3%) per year for the duration of the MLA term. The Pole License Administrative Fee is the fee for the City to process the Pole License application and issue the license. Based on an estimate of 2.25 hours of staff time by a Planner I and Engineer I for the intake and review of each Pole License Application, staff has calculated the non-refundable Pole License administrative fee to be $400. This fee can be added to the Master Fee Schedule by adopting the resolution included with this report.
Information to the community about plans related to the installation of small cell facilities, including visual renderings of equipment, has been provided through an article in the City Newsletter (delivered to all Fremont households in December 2019), a News Brief to the media (issued on December 13th) along with social media messaging, and through a project webpage containing information and responses to frequently asked questions (see reference to the weblink below). Prior to the installation of small cell equipment on a streetlight pole, wireless service providers will provide an informational notice to the adjacent residents.
Joint Venture Silicon Valley (JVSV) Resources and Coordination
JVSV brings together leaders from business, government, academia, labor, and the broader community to address the economy and quality of life in Silicon Valley. The topic of “wireless communication” is a special initiative for JVSV and in this regard resources have been made available to help promote understanding and guide policy makers on the topic. Among these resources include the following:
Wire-America: Joint Venture Silicon Valley (JVSV) is a paid Wireless industry proponent. Where is the opponents view in this staff report or presentation? There was no equal time given to the opponents of this agenda.
The following is Wireless Industry propaganda, not balanced, objective reports. Follow the money . . . see who funds JVSV.
Bridging the Gap, 21st Century Wireless Telecommunications Handbook, Second Edition – December 2019 (see weblink below)
List of publications addressing 5G, Small Cells and EMF (see attachment)
Wireless Communications Initiative Website (see weblink below)
Approval of the MLA and issuance of subsequent Pole License Agreements will augment revenue to the General Fund at the rate of $270 per pole per year. It is anticipated that in the first year there will be approximately 40 to 80 Pole Licenses issued to the providers, with the possibility of this number increasing over time. The cost to issue the pole licenses will be recovered by the $400 administrative fee and the yearly escalator.
The project is exempt from review under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15301, Existing Facilities as the contract is for minor additions to existing facilities.
Wire-America: Ooops. Not addressed at all are the Wireless Carriers’ requirements of their license to complete National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review fore every single Wireless Telecommunications Facility (WTF) of any size or any “G”, per the following statement from the FCC:
Oct 19, 2020 comment by Ms. Garnet Hanly, Division Chief of the Competition & Infrastructure Policy Division, FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau:
“The FCC when it modified its rules [Title 47, C.F.R. § 1.1312(e) by its October 2019 Order that became effective on Dec 5, 2019], after the DC Circuit issued its mandate [in its Ruling of Case No. 18-1129 Keetoowah v FCC] we [the FCC] took the position that we were reviewing Small Wireless Facilities as [Federal] undertakings and major Federal actions, pursuant to the DC Circuit decision and that is what we’ve been doing.”
sWTF Project: http://www.fremont.gov/3494/Small-Cell-Project
JVSV Wireless [Tele]communication Handbook: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rt8bl4x1llnknfk/wireless-telecom-hndbk-2019-12-DTW-FINAL.pdf?dl=0
JVSV Wireless Initiative Website: https://jointventure.org/initiatives/civic-technology/wireless-communications
Find that approval of Master License Agreement form for small cell facilities is exempt from review under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15301, Existing Facilities as the contract is for minor additions to existing facilities;
Approve the Master License Agreement (MLA) Form for the Non-Exclusive Installation of Small Cell Telecommunications Facilities and Use of City Light Poles in the Public Right-of-Way;
Authorize the City Manager or designee to execute the Master License Agreements with wireless providers and to issue pole licenses for City-owned streetlights in the public right-of-way; and
Adopt a resolution amending the Master Fee Schedule to include the Pole License Administrative fee and the 3% yearly escalator
Refuting the marketing drivel offered by Big Red here.
Help the Fremont area receive better wireless service.
Improving the quality and capacity of Fremont residents’ smartphone voice and data services makes good sense.
- Demand for wireless service is expected to grow seven times by 2023,
Wire-America: What a Barnum statement. What does this actually mean? Is this claim backed up by any data? None are provided . . .
- Network enhancements are needed to keep up with demand.
Wire-America: “Demand” that has been asserted, but not established.
Verizon Wireless has proposed a small cell network for Fremont, consisting of small facilities mounted on utility and streetlight poles. The Verizon Wireless small cell network will
- Greatly enhance service capacity
Wire-America: Really? How is this enhancement documented/measured?
- Provide in-building service in hard to reach areas
Wire-America: In-building service is a business goal unsupported by underlying statutes. The only requirement is for outdoor wireless calls in most areas (not 100% of areas).
- Use the most aesthetically discrete technology available today
Wire-America: These second-generation so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (sWTFs) might be prettier but they are still way too large and consume and output way too much power — in violation of Title 47 U.S. Code §324, which states: “In all circumstances . . . all radio stations . . . shall use the minimum amount of power necessary to carry out the communication desired.
How does this affect me?
This affects you if you rely on cell phones to connect with your family, friends, or work. It affects you if you use your cell phone during emergencies or just to look up directions or local businesses. This is your opportunity to get better wireless service for you and your neighbors.
Wire-America: Are you dropping calls when calling outdoors? If not, no additional wireless services is needed, per Federal law and U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit case law.
All Fremont residents benefit from improved Verizon Wireless service, even non-Verizon Wireless customers.
Wire-America: How do a non-Verizon Wireless customer benefit? Are there any downsides to full-power cell towers located 15-50 feet from homes? Yes, public safety, privacy/surveillance and property value harms.
First, the small cell network will relieve congestion on the Verizon Wireless network serving Fremont by providing additional capacity to address demands for service. This added capacity improves Verizon Wireless’s network for all of Fremont by off-loading calls and data demands from existing facilities.
Wire-America: Does densied 4G/5G Wireless grid infrastructure off-load calls? How, exactly does that work? They DO NOT, according to attorney W. Scott McCollough in this letter.
Second, these enhancements will improve network service for Fremont first responders.
Wire-America: Fremont’s first responders have their own radio networks separate from Verizon’s network.
Finally, should another wireless carrier’s network fail, the Verizon Wireless network is available to all users for emergency calls and text messages.
Wire-America: Unless there is a fire or other disaster which requires the electrical power to be powered off . . . then all wireless networks go down and there is NO COMMUNICATION, once battery back ups (that last 2-3 hours) exhaust themselves.
Fremont first responders leverage the Verizon Wireless Network for vital communications across a broad range of emergency situations from patient treatment coordination between ambulance EMTs and hospital emergency rooms, to protecting officers in the field by providing vital off-radio channels for police work.
Wire-America: What percentage of off-radio communications is used by Fremont first responders? Is there any problems with such service today? No. Everything is fine, as is. This should only be a matter driven by substantial data (records of dropped calls from the last 12 months) and not driven by unsubstantiated marketing drivel.
At home, the Verizon Wireless Network is leveraged for more than staying connected with friends and family or entertainment online. The Network supports home security monitoring, connectivity for home health monitoring devices or even tracking a lost pet.
Wire-America: Home Wi-Fi offers nearly all of these benefits, as well, without RF Microwave radiation pumped into second-story bedrooms at levels that are 30 million times higher than needed for “5-bars” telecommunications service. This made the three- and six-year old girls sick with “microwave radiation illness” in a matter of weeks.
90% of US households use wireless service. With this increase in demand from users at home and those who work from home comes the need for more facilities to meet the customer needs. (CTIA, June 2015)
Wire-America: Finally a 2015 citation (but with no reference or link) from the Wireless industry trade association. Do you think that is objective data? If so, I have a bridge I would like to sell to you . . .
Citizens need access to 911 and reverse 911 and wireless may be their only connection. We all know to call 911 in case of emergency.
Wire-America: Unfortunately wireless alerts DO NOT equal the capability of legacy, copper, switched landline service, which continue to operate if your neighborhood’s electricity gets powered off. Make wireless you only connection at your own risk and peril.
In contrast, reverse 911 is a public alert system most frequently used by safety organizations to alert individuals and businesses to the risk of danger by sending a recorded voice message to landline telephones and registered cellphones within a defined geographical area.
Wire-America: But if the electricity is shut off, only the landline customers receive their reverse 911 warnings, as was proven in the Santa Rosa, CA fires in 2017.
Additionally, Fremont residents rely on their mobile devices to receive messages regarding their safety, property or welfare of the community using the AC Alert messaging system.
Wire-America: Once again, of the electricity is shut off, those wireless alerts don’t arrive, either.
The wireless future is here with small cells.
To stay ahead of demand,
Wire-America: Who agreed to exchange your public safety, privacy from 24/7 surveillance and property value harms to address some multi-billion dollar company’s projection of demand? No one can accurately predict the future. Full stop.
Verizon is deploying new technology, commonly referred to as small cells. A small cell network adds coverage, capacity, and increases connection speed so that more users can connect to reliable high-speed wireless service where they live, work and play. Small cells are part of a macro-micro cellular communication coverage umbrella enabling information flow between traditional cell sites and small cells. This architecture provides higher quality of service and increased capacity to a dedicated geographic location. Small cell architecture enhances the network for users in the selected geographic small cell area. The increased communication quality benefits customers during normal communication use and emergencies.
Wire-America: These goals can be met with traditional macro towers in commercial and industrial zones with no small cells in residential zones. Small cells are cheap-to-build macro towers — unnecessarily placed in front of homes.
Small cells are a fraction of the size of traditional communication facilities, use a fraction of the power and serve a much smaller area than traditional cell sites. The reduced size allows the small cells to attach to existing utility poles and light standards.
Wire-America: That is not what people in homes experience. Small cells — because they are so close to homes — output 24/7 RF microwave radiation power into bedrooms at levels that are 25-30 million times higher than from properly sited Macro Towers 2,500 feet or further away.
How is 5G different from 4G?
Small Cell Photos
Small Cells blend into a city’s landscape using existing infrastructure like utility poles or street lights, or new poles in the public right-of-way.
4G Service (700 MHz to 2,100 MHz)
5G Service (600 MHz to about 90,000 MHz)
Since the launch of the smart phone in 2007
more than 10 years ago, Verizon Wireless has been introducing new technologies to meet service capacity demands.
Today, reliable service and in-building coverage are essential to the everyday lives of Fremont area residents, commuters and workers.
Over the past year, the demand for Verizon Wireless voice and data services has nearly doubled, and network enhancements are required to keep up with this ever‐increasing demand. Maintaining a highly reliable, high-speed, high-capacity network is also critical to emergency communications.
Wire-America: Once again, is this claim backed up by any substantial data? NO. Why should you believe these self-serving marketing assertions?
Fremont residents, commuters and workers depend on the reliability of the Verizon Wireless network, especially to communicate with emergency professionals during times of crisis – including police, fire, ambulance and hospital calls.
Selected Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. How small cells work?
A small cell uses small radios and antennas placed on various types of poles like utility poles, street lights, or new poles in the public right-of-way. The coverage area can range from a few hundred feet to upwards of 1,000 ft, depending on topography, capacity needs, and more.
Wire-America: Once again, is this claim backed up by any substantial data? NO. Why should you believe these self-serving marketing assertions? Surprise! If you make actual calculations from the capability of the antennas being deployed, a wireless signal sufficient to make a wireless telephone call (telecommunications service) goes out five miles or more from a so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilitiy (sWTF). This overpowered signal travels through your bedrooms and the brains and bodies of your family members on the way . . . 24/7, without respite, for 20 years or longer.
2. Where will Verizon add small cells?
Verizon Wireless engineers design small cell networks to add needed capacity to meet rising demand and to provide coverage in hard to reach areas. As a result, small cell networks are designed for areas ranging from urban centers to residential neighborhoods.
Wire-America: So-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (sWTFs) are not needed in residential neighborhoods. Full stop.
3. Are small cell applications reviewed by the City of Fremont?
Yes, Verizon Wireless must obtain permits to install small cells in accordance with the Fremont permitting process and design guidelines.
Wire-America: Fremont’s ministerial (no longer discretionary) process cuts out the public participation in the siting process. This has to change.
4. Are small cells reviewed for compliance with FCC safety guidelines?*
Yes. All small cells must comply with the same stringent standards under which macro communications sites are reviewed and regulated.
Wire-America: Compliance with the FCC RF Microwave radiation guideline does not provide public safety, which is what we learned in the ruling on Aug 13, 2021 — Case No. 20-1025: EHT/CHD et al. v FCC. There is no guideline for wireless telecommunications service or information service for frequencies about 6,000 MHz. This is why . . .
5. Are small cells safe?
The Federal Communications Commission, in consultation with multiple federal agencies, sets federal government safety standards regarding small cells. Those standards have wide safety margins and are designed to protect everyone, including children, and were established after close examination of research that scientists in the US and around the world conducted for decades. The research continues to this day, and agencies continue to monitor it.
Wire-America: These are obviously false and/or misleading statements. There are 11,000 pages of peer-reviewed scientific evidence in the FCC’s record (placed there by Environmental Health Trust and Children’s Defense from 2013 through 2021) that proves that these statements from Big Red are wrong.
Scientists have studied [and established]
potential actual adverse biological effects and negative health consequences from RF microwave radiation from cell phones and wireless infrastructure since the 1920’s.
Based on all the research, federal agencies have concluded that equipment that complies with the safety standards poses no known health risks.
Wire-America: This is another obviously false and/or misleading statement. See the evidence.
And advisers to the World Health Organization have specifically concluded that the same goes for 5G equipment. In fact, the RF safety standards adopted by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are even more conservative than the levels adopted by some international standards bodies.
Wire-America: More obviously false and/or misleading statements. See the evidence. Note that Big Red cannot state that small cells safe and their words do not answer the question.
Chapter 18.187 Wireless Facilities
- Source: Original Fremont code here
- Read https://www.fremont.gov/398/General-Plan
- Fremont Smart City Plan → [still seeking link to this]
- See also (reproduced below)
(a) The purpose of this chapter is to provide uniform standards for the placement, design, installation, monitoring, and permitting of wireless telecommunication facilities that are consistent with applicable state and federal requirements. In particular, this chapter shall be interpreted and applied so as to be consistent with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Section 6409(a) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, other applicable federal and state laws, and administrative and court decisions and determinations relating to same. These standards are also intended to address the adverse visual impacts of these facilities through appropriate design, siting, screening techniques and locational standards, while providing for the communication needs of residents and businesses.
(b) The regulations in this chapter are specifically not intended to, and shall not be interpreted or applied to:
- (1) Prohibit or effectively prohibit the provision of personal wireless services;
- (2) Unreasonably discriminate among functionally equivalent service providers; or
- (3) Regulate wireless facilities and wireless transmission equipment on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such emissions comply with the standards established by the Federal Communications Commission. (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17.)
See Section 18.25.3225 for definitions of terms used in this chapter. (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17.)
§18.187.030 Applicability – Exempt facilities.
The requirements of this chapter shall apply to all wireless facilities as defined in Section 18.25.3225, except for the following facilities which shall be exempt. Facilities exempted under this section shall still be subject to other city regulations, including encroachment permits and use permits, as may be applicable. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any eligible facilities request subject to Section 6409(a) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, as those terms are defined under Section 18.25.3225, shall be processed in accordance with federal law.
(a) Radio or television towers.
(c) Amateur radio antennas.
(d) Public safety networks.
(e) City wireless facilities.
(f) Point to point access antennas.
(g) Wireless facilities for exclusive use by a public utility district that do not provide wireless services to the general public, except as it may relate to specialty utility service monitoring, billing, or other service-related uses. Such facilities shall be located within ground-mounted public utility boxes or adjacent to them and mounted flush with the ground. (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17; Ord. 05-2021 § 45, 4-20-21.)
§18.187.040 Permits required – Approval authority.
(a) Design Review. All wireless facilities other than those in the public right-of-way require a design review permit and a building permit in addition to a conditional use permit or zoning administrator permit, if required in Table 18.187.070.
(1) A ministerial design review permit, subject to Chapter 18.235, shall be required for collocations, modifications and upgrades to any wireless facilities as well as facade- and roof-mounted wireless facilities permitted by right.
(2) A discretionary design review permit, subject to Chapter 18.235, shall be required for new wireless facilities in addition to a conditional use permit or zoning administrator permit, if required in Table 18.187.070.
Wireless facilities proposed to be located in the public right-of-way require a ministerial or discretionary design review permit and an encroachment permit, subject to all applicable standards under Chapter 12.05 (Encroachments to Streets and Sidewalks) and Section 18.187.150 (Wireless facilities in the public right-of-way).
(b) Section 6409(a) Eligible Facilities Request. Projects that involve modifications to an “existing wireless tower” or “base station” in order to collocate, remove or replace transmission equipment, but would not substantially change the physical dimensions(s) of such tower or base station may be eligible for review under Section 6409(a) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, codified at 47 U.S.C. Section 1455 (“Section 6409(a)”). If deemed eligible, these projects shall be processed in accordance with the timeframes and approval process established by Section 6409(a) and implementing federal regulations. Proposed projects that involve a substantial change, as defined in Section 18.25.3225, are ineligible for review under Section 6409(a) and shall be reviewed in accordance with the permitting process outlined in Table 18.187.070. Projects that qualify as an eligible facility under Section 6409(a) require concurrent processing of a ministerial design review permit and building permit.
(e) Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB).
(1) Historical Overlay District (HOD). Where a wireless facility is proposed within an HOD and review is required in accordance with Chapter 18.135, the project shall also be reviewed by the historical architectural review board (HARB).
(2) Register/Potential Register Resources. Where wireless facilities are proposed that could affect an historic or potentially historic resource, the project shall be reviewed by HARB in accordance with Chapter 18.175.
(f) Other Required Permits and Approvals. In addition to any permit required under this section, an applicant must also apply for and obtain any separate permit or approval required for such wireless facilities under the municipal code, including, but not limited to, building, electrical, and encroachment. (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17; Ord. 02-2020 §25, 1-14-20.)
§18.187.050 Application requirements.
(1) For all proposed wireless facilities other than those in the public right-of-way, the applicant shall provide the following information:
(B) Alternate site locations within a search ring.
(C) A letter explaining the site selection process including information about the other sites that were considered and reasons for their rejection; power rating for all antennas and backup equipment proposed with first application.
(E) The proposed design and, if applicable, why a more preferable design cannot be used, as set forth in Section 18.187.080.
(F) A map identifying all existing wireless facilities within a 3,000-foot radius and reasons for not co-locating with existing wireless facilities.
(G) Visual impact analysis that includes photo-simulations showing existing and proposed scenarios and section drawing that shows height of proposed wireless facilities as viewed from any public right-of-way.
(H) A radio frequency (RF) report demonstrating that the proposed installation, including antennas and associated equipment cabinets, conforms to the radio-frequency radiation emission standards adopted by the FCC.
(I) A noise study, prepared, signed and stamped by a California-licensed engineer, for the proposed wireless facility and all associated equipment, which shall include without limitation all environmental control units, sump pumps, temporary backup power generators, and permanent backup power generators. The noise study shall include without limitation the manufacturers’ specifications for all noise-emitting equipment and a depiction of the proposed equipment relative to all adjacent property lines.
(2) For all proposed wireless facilities in the public right-of-way, the applicant shall provide the following information:
(C) A photographic image showing the proposed location and immediate surroundings.
(D) A photo simulation showing the proposed wireless facility installation.
(E) A scaled elevation drawing of the proposed installation including the size and dimensions of the proposed equipment and, for pole installations, the equipment shroud.
(c) Section 6409(a) Eligible Facilities Request. In order to determine whether a proposed wireless facility is eligible for the process set forth in Section 18.187.040(b), the applicant shall provide a checklist with the following information:
(1) Height. Description and dimensions of proposed change in height of the structure, including existing and proposed height.
(2) Width. Description and dimensions of proposed change in width of the structure, including existing and proposed widths.
(3) Other Modifications. Description of additional modifications, including, but not limited to, the number and size of additional cabinets, and any excavation or deployment beyond the existing site.
Applications determined eligible for a Section 6409(a) eligible facilities request shall be exempt from the general and monopole-specific submittal requirements listed above. (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17; Ord. 02-2020 §26, 1-14-20.)
(a) Section 6409(a) Eligible Facilities Request. Applications determined eligible for review under Section 6409(a) shall be processed within 60 days from the time the application is submitted, unless deemed incomplete within 30 days. Resubmittals shall be reviewed for completeness within 10 days and may be deemed incomplete again, but only if the applicant has failed to submit the information requested in the initial response.
(b) Applications for wireless facilities not covered by subsection (a) of this section shall be acted upon within the time periods listed below:
(1) Collocation. Applications to collocate wireless facilities shall be acted upon within 90 days of application submittal, unless deemed incomplete within 30 days. Resubmittals shall be reviewed for completeness within 10 days and may be deemed incomplete again, but only if the applicant has failed to submit the information requested in the initial response.
(2) New Facilities. Applications for new wireless facilities shall be acted upon within 150 days of application submittal, unless deemed incomplete within 30 days. Resubmittals shall be reviewed for completeness within 10 days and may be deemed incomplete again, but only if the applicant has failed to submit the information requested in the initial response.
(c) Application Submittal. All applications for wireless facilities shall be submitted by the applicant, in person, at a prior-scheduled appointment with city staff. The city shall endeavor to make appointment times available within five business days of request. The applicant should be prepared to discuss the application and answer questions from staff to help facilitate the expedited review. No application may be submitted in any other manner, and the acceptance of an application or any partial application shall not constitute a waiver of the requirements under this section. Applicants may submit supplemental information without an appointment. The planning manager or designee may waive the required appointment. (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17; Ord. 02-2020 §27, 1-14-20.)
§18.187.070 Permitted, conditionally permitted, and prohibited wireless facilities.
Table 18.187.070 sets forth the types of wireless facilities and zoning districts where these facilities are permitted as of right, subject to a zoning administrator permit, subject to a conditional use permit, or are prohibited. Table 18.187.070 does not apply to wireless facilities located in the public right-of-way. Wireless facilities proposed to be located in the public right-of-way shall be subject to all applicable standards under Chapter 12.05 (Encroachments to Streets and Sidewalks) and Section 18.187.150 (Wireless facilities in the public right-of-way).
In Table 18.187.070 the letters, symbols, and footnotes are defined as follows:
|“P” – Permitted Use||1 Term is defined in Section 18.25.3225|
|“Z” – Zoning Administrator Permit||2 Exception for Unique/Unusual Circumstance – Wireless facilities otherwise not permitted may be allowed, subject to a conditional use permit, when it can be found that there are unique circumstances, the site is suitable, and the overall intent/objectives of the ordinance requirements and guidelines still can be met.|
|“C” – Conditionally Permitted Use|
|“A” – Accessory Use|
|“- -” – Use Not Permitted|
|Facility Type||Specific Use Requirements/ Notes|
|Zoning District||Facade Mounted1, 2||Roof Mounted1, 2||Ground Mounted1, 2||Stealth and Freestanding Monopole1, 2||For facilities proposed in public right-of-way, see Section 18.187.150|
|Areas Above Toe of Hill||C||C||C||—|
|Open Space Districts||P||P||C||C|
|Residential Districts and Sites Used for Residential (Below Toe of Hill)|
|Less than one acre||C*||C||C||—|
|One acre or more||Z*||Z||C||—|
|Downtown (D-CA, D-MD, D-E and D-CC) and City Center (CC-TN, CC-UO and CC-UN)||Z||Z||C||C|
|C-O, C-N, C-G, C-R, MX, TC-P, and TC-T||Z||Z||C||C|
|Service Industrial (S-I), Tech Industrial (T-I), General Industrial (G-I)||P||P||C||C|
|Warm Springs Innovation (WSI)|
|Areas 1 and 2||P||P||C||C|
|Areas 3 and 4||Z*||Z*||—||—||(*) On commercial structures only|
|Area 4A||P*||P*||—||—||(*) On commercial structures only|
|Areas 6 and 7||P||P||C||C|
|Public Facility Districts||P||P||C||C|
(Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17; 02-2020 §28, 1-14-20.)
§18.187.080 Preferred installation type.
(a) Based on potential aesthetic and visual impacts, the order of preference for wireless facility types is as follows, ordered from most preferred to least preferred:
(1) Facade mounts.
(2) Roof mounts.
(3) Ground mounts.
(4) Stealth monopoles.
(5) Freestanding monopoles.
In order to use any design, the applicant shall specify why a more preferable installation type(s) as set forth above cannot be used.
For facilities proposed above the toe of the hill1, the applicant must demonstrate that there is no feasible location(s) below the toe of the hill1 that can serve the same purpose. In order to achieve this goal, the preferred installation type priorities may be waived. (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17.)
§18.187.090 Development standards.
These development standards pertain to wireless facilities that are not located in the public right-of-way. Wireless facilities proposed to be located in the public right-of-way are subject to all applicable standards under Chapter 12.05 (Encroachments to Streets and Sidewalks) and Section 18.187.150 (Wireless facilities in the public right-of-way).
(1) Ground-Mounted Facilities. Ground-mounted antennas shall be limited to a maximum height of 10 feet. All associated equipment cabinets shall be limited to a maximum height of three feet above grade, unless other techniques are utilized to minimize visual impacts. Cabinets that are taller may be partially buried, or use existing contours and level differences to maintain the three-foot limit.
(b) Setback. For all sites adjacent to residential zoning districts or sites used for residential uses a 100-foot setback is required from the property line. Monopoles shall generally not be allowed within 1,000 feet of each other, unless adverse visual impacts are not significant.
(1) Signs shall be posted at the communications equipment/structure.
(2) Antennas or mountings shall not be used for advertising.
(1) In general, a wireless facility located above the toe of the hill line1 is limited to meeting the needs created by uses above the toe of the hill line1, unless the city council reasonably finds more extensive public need cannot practicably be met below the toe of the hill1 line.
(3) All ground-mounted wireless facilities shall utilize existing access roads. No new roads shall be allowed for the placement of wireless facilities.
(e) Equipment. All equipment cabinets, antennas and other associated equipment shall be of a type preapproved by the FCC. The applicant may be required to provide a letter of certification from the FCC. Additional requirements are as follows:
(1) Equipment cabinets shall be the minimum size and number necessary for the initial operation of the wireless facility network. Future additional cabinets may be eligible for a Section 6409(a) eligible facilities request, provided the modification does not constitute a substantial change.
(2) The smallest available and least visible antennas that provide the coverage objective shall be used when mounted on monopoles. The number of antennas shall represent the minimum number required to complete the network.
(f) Landscaping. All proposed landscaping shall require review for compliance with applicable regulations and design guidelines. Applicants shall provide written proof of the availability of any required irrigation facilities on site prior to permit issuance. This may be in the form of a letter from the owner of the land allowing the applicant the use of required water facilities for landscaping and all irrigation measures shall be shown on a landscape plan. (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17; 02-2020 §29, 1-14-20.)
§18.187.100 Performance standards.
These performance standards pertain to wireless facilities that are not located in the public right-of-way. Wireless facilities proposed to be located in the public right-of-way are subject to all applicable standards under Chapter 12.05 (Encroachments to Streets and Sidewalks) and Section 18.187.150 (Wireless facilities in the public right-of-way).
(a) Security. Fencing, walls, or anti-climbing or other electronic devices may be required to prevent unauthorized access and vandalism to the site and equipment. All security fencing/walls shall be designed to be graffiti-resistant. The applicant shall be responsible for graffiti-free maintenance of all wireless facilities, and shall provide a maintenance program for the facilities.
(b) Lighting. Lighting shall not be allowed on wireless facilities unless required as a public safety measure.
(d) Hazardous Materials. The applicant shall comply with all requirements of the city of Fremont fire department hazardous materials unit regarding fire safety, which may include either installation of an automatic fire extinguishing system and/or installation of a remote monitoring system or such other compliance techniques, subject to review and approval of the fire chief prior to the issuance of building permits for the project. A letter of approval by the hazardous materials unit of the city’s fire department shall be obtained by the applicants prior to issuance of building permits.
(e) Noise. At no time shall transmission equipment or any other associated equipment (including but not limited to heating and air conditioning units) at any wireless facilities emit noise levels in excess of the following at the property lines:
(1) When adjacent to industrial, commercial, business, professional or office uses, the maximum noise level shall be an Ldn level of 70 dB(A).
(3) When adjacent or contiguous to residential, institutional, or similar sensitive uses, the maximum noise level shall not exceed an hourly Leq level of 50 dB(A) during daytime hours (7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.), an hourly Leq level of 45 dB(A) during nighttime hours (10:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.), an hourly Lmax level of 70 dB(A) during daytime hours, and an hourly Lmax level of 65 dB(A) during nighttime hours.
(4) Code Compliance. All facilities shall at all times comply with all applicable federal, state, and local building codes, electrical codes, fire codes, and any other code related to public health and safety. (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17; 02-2020 §30, 1-14-20.)
§18.187.110 Other requirements.
These requirements pertain to wireless facilities that are not located in the public right-of-way. Wireless facilities proposed to be located in the public right-of-way are subject to all applicable standards under Chapter 12.05 (Encroachments to Streets and Sidewalks) and Section 18.187.150 (Wireless facilities in the public right-of-way).
(a) Maintenance. The applicant shall maintain the wireless facilities in good condition and shall agree to reasonable repairs and replacement of equipment, stealth and structural components, due to damage caused by outdoor exposure and/or inclement weather. If the exterior of the facility or equipment shelter fade in color due to outdoor exposure, the applicant shall replace such components within 90 days of written notice by the zoning administrator. If the work cannot be completed within 90 days, the applicant shall provide the city with a bond in the amount of the valuation of the requested repair and completion timeline to guarantee the work.
(b) Bond for Removal. Prior to erecting a monopole, or prior to renewing a use permit for an existing monopole, the applicant shall provide a bond or other financial guarantee, satisfactory to the city attorney, for the removal of the facility, in the event that its use is abandoned or its use permit expires or is terminated. If the applicant has more than one monopole in the city, the amount of the bond or guarantee per monopole may be reduced if the applicant submits a lease agreement that requires removal of the unused monopole.
(c) Indemnification. The wireless facilities applicant shall defend (with counsel reasonably acceptable to the city), indemnify, and hold harmless the city or any of its boards, commissions, agents, officers, and employees from any claim, action or proceeding against the city, its boards, commissions, agents, officers, or employees to attack, set aside, void, or annul the approval of the project. The city shall promptly notify the applicant of any such claim, action or proceeding. The city shall have the option of coordinating the defense. Nothing contained in this requirement shall prohibit the city from participating in a defense of any claim, action, or proceeding if the city bears its own attorney’s fees and costs, and the city defends the action in good faith.
(d) Collocation. All wireless facilities applicants and/or providers proposing a monopole shall provide a written statement to the zoning administrator agreeing that they will allow other wireless carriers that use a compatible technology to collocate antennas on the monopole.
(e) If any FCC, CPUC or other required license or approval to provide communication services is ever revoked, the applicant shall inform the city of the revocation within 10 days of receiving notice of such revocation.
(1) The wireless facilities provider shall cooperate with the city in determining whether the facility is causing interference with city communication systems and, if so, shall take all necessary steps in order to eliminate such interference. The provider shall be responsible for all labor and equipment costs for determining the source of the interference, and all costs associated with eliminating the interference, including but not limited to filtering, installing cavities, installing directional antennas, powering down systems, and engineering analysis.
(2) The provider shall be further responsible for all costs arising from third party claims against the city attributable to the interference, but only to the extent the provider is determined by the FCC or a court of competent jurisdiction to have been legally responsible for such interference. Nothing in the preceding sentence shall be deemed to make the provider responsible for any costs associated with interference for which it would not be responsible under applicable FCC regulations. (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17; 02-2020 §31, 1-14-20.)
§18.187.120 Required findings for approval.
(b) Additionally, and if the wireless facility is located above the toe of the hill line1, the planning commission must find that the wireless facility has been limited to meeting the needs created by uses permitted above the toe of the hill line1. If the facility serves uses below the toe of hill line1 it must be referred to the city council, wherein, they must find that the more extensive public need cannot practicably be met below the toe of the hill line1. (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17.)
§18.187.130 Time limits, abandonment, expiration, revocation, renewal, and modification of permits.
(a) Time Limits on Approvals. Unless conditions of approval establish a different time limit, any discretionary zoning approval granted pursuant to this title shall expire within 24 months following the date on which the permit was approved except where an extension of time is approved in compliance with Section 18.330.030(b).
(b) Conditional Use Permit. A conditional use permit to allow a wireless facility shall expire 10 years from the date of approval. The applicant may request a 10-year extension which shall be reviewed by the planning commission at a public hearing.
(c) Cessation of Operations. The applicant shall provide written notification to the zoning administrator upon cessation of operations of a wireless facility on a site. The applicant shall remove all obsolete or unused facilities from the site within six months of the termination of the lease, cessation of operations, or expiration of the permit. No exposed mounting apparatus shall remain without associated antennas. The zoning administrator shall verify that the use of the site has ceased for a period of 12 consecutive months.
Should the provider fail to effect such removal, the property owner shall be responsible for the removal of the equipment. A new permit shall be required if the site is to be used again for the same purpose as permitted under the original permit, if a consecutive period of 12 months has lapsed since cessation of operations. (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17.)
§18.187.140 Transfer of interest.
Upon transfer of an approved wireless facility or any rights under the applicable permit or approval, the permittee of the facility must within 30 days of such transfer provide written notification to the zoning administrator of the date of the transfer and the identity of the transferee. The zoning administrator may require submission of any supporting materials or documentation necessary to determine that the facility is in compliance with the existing permit or approval and all of its conditions including, but not limited to, statements, photographs, plans, drawings, and analysis by a qualified engineer demonstrating compliance with all applicable regulations and standards of the city, FCC, and CPUC. The permittee and any successor in interest to the approved wireless facility shall be required to adhere to all conditions of approval. (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17.)
§18.187.150 Wireless facilities in the public right-of-way.
(a) Design Guidelines. The city council shall, by resolution, establish design guidelines for the review of wireless facilities in the public right-of-way.
(b) Ministerial Design Review Permit. An application for a wireless facility in the public right-of-way shall be subject to a ministerial design review permit and the procedures set forth in Chapter 18.235, if the facility:
(1) Is consistent with the adopted design rules contained in the citywide design guidelines for wireless facilities on existing utility poles or light poles; and
(2) Will be placed on a pole located more than 100 feet from any property line of a park or a property with a general plan land use designation of open space or potential or register historic resource.
(c) Discretionary Design Review Permit. An application for a wireless facility in the public right-of-way that does not meet the adopted design rules contained in the citywide design guidelines shall be subject to a discretionary design review permit and the procedures set forth in Chapter 18.235, if the facility:
(1) Provides alternatives that meet the intent of the design guidelines for wireless facilities on existing utility or light poles; and
(d) Findings for Approval. The approval authority may approve a discretionary design review permit upon such conditions, in addition to those expressly provided in other applicable provisions of this code, as it finds desirable in the public interest, upon finding that the approval will either:
(1) Attain the objectives and purposes of the citywide design guidelines; or
(2) Ensure that the general appearance of proposed facilities will not materially impair the visual aesthetics of adjacent properties.
(e) Any provider that proposes to install a wireless facility on light poles or other utility poles shall provide evidence of a lease or at minimum a draft lease (including lease rate) when submitting an application for a design review permit.
(f) Undergrounded Equipment. All nonantenna equipment shall be installed underground to the maximum extent feasible. All vents, exhausts and similar features for undergrounded equipment shall be flush to grade to the maximum extent feasible; all above-grade vents, exhausts or similar features shall be designed to blend with the environment to the maximum extent feasible. In no case shall equipment block any pedestrian path.
(g) Pole-Mounted or Tower-Mounted Antennas or Transmission Equipment. All pole-mounted and tower-mounted antennas and transmission equipment shall be mounted as close as possible to the tower so as to reduce the overall visual profile to the maximum extent feasible. All pole-mounted and tower-mounted transmission equipment shall be painted with flat, nonreflective colors that blend with the visual environment. No portion of the antenna or transmission equipment mounted on a pole may be less than 16 feet above any road surface unless certain equipment must be placed lower in order to comply with California Public Utilities Commission General Order 95.
(h) Wireless facilities proposed to be located in the public right-of-way shall be subject to all applicable standards under Chapter 12.05 (Encroachments to Streets and Sidewalks). (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17; 02-2020 §32, 1-14-20.)
§18.187.160 Independent consultant review.
(a) Selection by Zoning Administrator. The zoning administrator or designee may select and retain one or more independent consultants with expertise in wireless facilities in connection with any permit review and evaluation.
(b) Scope. The independent consultant shall review the project aspects that involve technical or specialized knowledge and may address:
(1) Whether the applicant submitted a complete and accurate application;
(2) Whether the facts and materials presented in a particular application tend to support certain statements or analyses in the application;
(3) Compliance with any applicable regulations;
(4) Any other specific technical or specialized issues requested by the city; and/or
(5) Presence or absence of a significant gap in service coverage, as appropriate.
(c) Independent Consultant Fee Deposit. The applicant shall pay the cost for any independent consultant fees, along with applicable overhead recovery, through a deposit, estimated by the city, paid at the time the applicant submits an application. The applicant shall pay all consultant fees before the city may act on a permit application. In the event that such costs and/or fees do not exceed the deposit amount, the city shall refund any unused portion within 60 days after the design review permit is approved and the encroachment permit is released or, if no design review permit is approved and no encroachment permit is released, within 60 days after the city receives a written request from the applicant. (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17; 02-2020 §33, 1-14-20.)
§18.187.170 Exceptions from standards.
(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, one or more specific exception to the standards contained within this chapter may be granted if a denial would prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the provision of wireless facility services by the applicant. As such, the city may grant special permission or exceptions, on such terms as the city may deem appropriate, in cases where the city determines that the grant of the special permission is necessary to comply with state and federal law or regulations and where the applicant shows by clear and convincing evidence that no other location or combination of locations in compliance with this chapter can provide comparable communications.
(b) Prior to the issuance of an exception, the applicant shall be required to submit to the city a written explanation setting forth clear and convincing evidence that the location or locations, and the design of the facility is necessary to close a significant gap in service coverage, that there is no feasible alternate location or locations, or design, that would close a significant gap or to reduce it to less than significant, and that the facility is the least intrusive means to close a significant gap or to reduce it to less than significant in service. Exceptions shall be subject to the review and approval of the planning commission. The burden is on the applicant to prove significant gaps and least intrusive means as required herein. (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17.)
§18.187.180 Conflicts with other ordinances or regulations.
Repealed by Ord. 02-2020. (Ord. 09-2017 § 1, 6-6-17.)
Notes Applicable to Chapter 18.187
This term is defined in Chapter 18.25.
Fremont Small Cell FAQs
1. What is a small cell facility?
“Small Wireless Facilities” (aka small cells) are a type of wireless technology for broadband infrastructure that will add capacity and improve coverage to the City of Fremont neighborhoods. Small cell facilities are compact, relatively small and cover much smaller geographic areas than the traditional macro cell towers.
2. What are the physical components of a small cell facility?
A small cell facility generally consists of a small antenna, radio, and other accessory equipment on an existing facility within the public right-of-way. The antennas will be mounted near the top of poles; other supporting equipment such as a disconnect switch, smart meter
3. What is the benefit of small cell technology?
Small cell facilities can improve network connectivity for residents, businesses, first responders, and for visitors who are using the wireless networks. In addition to providing better wireless service in areas with spotty coverage, small cell technology will help wireless service providers increase capacity and transition from 4G to a 5G network easier to meet the increasing demand for faster and more reliable wireless services.
4. What is the range of a small cell facility?
Small cell facilities have an approximate range of 150 to 500 feet due to their low mounting height and low power output. Their range is also affected by trees and buildings which can potentially block the signals.
5. What governs small cell deployment?
Small cell deployment is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which has placed limits on the regulatory authority of cities.
6. Are there any health and safety concerns to be aware of?
Wireless antennas are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Small cell antennas transmit very low levels of radio waves compared to traditional macro cell antennas. The approved radiated emission levels from small cells meet the current accepted health and safety guidelines. The safety of radio waves has been extensively studied and government agencies and groups that set standards continuously review this research. For more information, please refer to the FCC’s Safety FAQ. Additional details can be found at the U.S Food and Drug Administration and National Cancer Institute.
7. How are Radio Frequency (RF) emissions regulated?
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 contained provisions relating federal jurisdiction to regulate human exposure to RF emissions from certain transmitting devices. In particular, Section 704 of the Act states that, “No state or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission’s regulations concerning such emission.” More information on FCC’s policy for Tower and Antenna Siting is available from the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and in the Local Government Official’s Guide to Transmitting Antenna RF Emission Safety
For every small cell site within the City of Fremont, the telecommunication applicant is required to submit an RF report for each small cell site.
8. Are these facilities subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) or additional environmental review?
No. Installation of small cell facilities on existing street light poles are categorically exempt from CEQA pursuant to sections 15301, 15302, and 15303 of the Guidelines for CEQA.
9. Can the City of Fremont prohibit the installation of small cells?
No. Under state law, wireless service providers have a right to install small cells within the public right-of-way, even on separate poles. In addition, the Federal Communications Commission has interpreted the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to preempt cities and other local agencies from denying wireless providers access to government owned structures in the public right-of-way. As a result, the City can merely standardize the use of the public right-of-way and its facilities in the public right-of-way, rather than prohibit the use by wireless providers.
10. What is the Public Right-of-Way?
The public right-of-way (ROW) can be generally described as the surface, space above and below of any public street, including the sidewalk, designated for a vehicular, bicycle or pedestrian use by the public that is maintained and regulated by the City of Fremont. The public ROW is owned in fee, easement or other title, and the edge of the public ROW is often the property line for an abutting property.
11. Who do these small cell facilities serve and which companies own and operate them?
The wireless facilities installed on street light poles and wooden utility poles are primarily intended to serve customers of wireless service providers licensed by the FCC to operate in the State of California. Currently, within the City, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint are the dominant wireless service providers. Other companies may also install and own small cell facilities and lease them to the above-mentioned wireless providers. Some of these companies are Crown Castle, ExteNet Systems, and Mobilitie. All wireless services providers are authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to install and operate facilities within the PROW.
12. What is the process that a wireless service provider must go through in order to install a small cell facility on a City of Fremont street light pole?
A wireless service provider would first have to execute a Master License Agreement (MLA) with the City, pursuant to a MLA template adopted by the City Council. This MLA allows a wireless service provider to apply for Small Cell License (SCL) Agreement for the installation of a small cell facility on a City owned street light pole.
After the SCL is executed, the wireless service provider has 45 days to submit an application for Regulatory Approvals (Ministerial Design Review & Encroachment Permit)with the Public Works Department (PWD).
Planning and Engineering shall confirm that the proposed wireless facility complies with the approved SCL Permit obtained from City and in general also conforms to the City’s Wireless Design Guidelines and all City standards for construction within public ROW. Upon approval of these regulatory application, the wireless service provider can then proceed to install the small cell facility at the subject location, subject to inspection and final acceptance by City Public Works Inspector.
13. What is a Master License Agreement?
A Master License Agreement (MLA) is the agreement between a wireless service provider and the City to allow for wireless facilities to be installed on city owned and operated streetlights. The MLA specifies the terms, conditions, procedures, and other requirements that the wireless service provider must adhere to in order to install small cell facilities on the City’s facilities.
14. Will the community be notified of where small cells are being installed?
Wireless service providers will be required to notify the owners, tenants, manager, or property manager for properties located immediately adjacent to the street light pole or utility pole upon which a small cell facility is being installed. If the streetlight pole is located on a common parcel line, then both the properties on either side shall be notified by the wireless provider a few days prior to start of construction. The format & content of the notification shall be approved by the City. A sample of the Door Hanger Template is provide at https://www.fremont.gov/DocumentCenter/View/45991/2020-VZW-CX-Door-Hanger-Notice—TEMPLATE?bidId=.
Fremont residents can also access our GIS Map of Planned and Active Small Cell Equipment Locations at https://arcg.is/0SKuXG.
15. Can the City of Fremont prohibit the installation of small cells?
No. Under state law, wireless service providers have a right to install small cells within the public right-of-way, even on separate poles. In addition, the Federal Communications Commission has interpreted the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to preempt cities and other local agencies from denying wireless providers access to government owned structures in the public right-of-way. As a result, the City can merely standardize the use of the public right-of-way and its facilities in the public right-of-way, rather than prohibit the use by wireless providers.
16. Can the City prohibit the deployment of small cell facilities on wooden utility poles owned by PG&E?
No. Under State law, telecommunications carriers have a right to install wireless facilities on wooden utility poles in the PROW. In addition, the Federal Communications Commission has interpreted the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to preempt cities and other local agencies from denying wireless providers access to government owned structures in the public right-of-way. As a result, the City can merely regulate the use of facilities in the public right-of-way, rather than prohibiting the use by wireless providers.
17. Does the City prefer wireless small cell facilities on wooden utility poles?
No. The City prefers wireless services providers to locate small cell facilities on street light poles since the entire city is designated as an undergrounding district and eventually all utility facilities in the City will be required to be placed underground. As a result, the wooden utility pole will no longer be needed for utility lines and the only poles in the public right-of-way will be streetlights. Moreover, installations on street light poles are visually less intrusive than small cell facilities mounted on wooden utility poles.
18. What aesthetic standards will be applied to small cells?
Wireless facilities are subject to the rules and guidelines provided in the Citywide Design Guidelines, Chapter 4, Section 6. Right-of-Way Installations. The Guidelines can be downloaded from the following web page: https://fremont.gov/1263/Design-Guidelines
19. Where are existing cell towers?
Information on all antennas registered with the FCC can be found at: http://www.antennasearch.com/sitestart.asp
20. Was the 5G Cell Tower in the city of Ripon linked to cancer?_xxx
No. Contaminated Water (not 5G Sprint Cell Tower) found in Ripon School: https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2019/09/23/cancer-causing-chemical-school-drinking-fountain/
21. How will small cell installation impact property values?
For more information on how small cell installation impacts property values, please see the study in the link by Join Venture Silicon Valley: https://jointventure.org/images/stories/pdf/cell-real-estate-study-2021-07.pdf
City of Fremont Design Guidelines
CITY OF FREMONT CITYWIDE DESIGN GUIDELINES
- Adopted by City Council Resolution No. 2014-04 on February 11, 2014
- Amended by City Council Resolution No. 2015-27 on May 19, 2015
- Amended by City Council Resolution No. 2016-48 on July 12, 2016
- Amended by City Council Resolution No. 2017-26 on May 16, 2017
- Amended by City Council Resolution No. 2017-83 on October 17, 2017
1. INTRODUCTION/PURPOSE for Design Guidelines Document
The purpose of this Citywide Design Guidelines document is to guide future single-family housing, commercial, and industrial development located outside of areas currently governed by existing guidelines or specific plan documents (refer to Section 2 of this chapter). The guidelines have been
written to make it easy for a property owner, architect, developer, City staff, and decision makers to use and are intended to provide clear direction for new construction and projects with additions.
Photographs that accompany the rules and guidelines are intended to depict concepts related to building elements and site design rather than a specific architectural theme or style. The following chapters contain both Design Rules (R) and Design Guidelines (G). It is important to make a distinction between the two types of regulations. Rules are mandatory regulations that must be satisfied by all development to which the standards apply.
In addition to the Rules, future development is also informed by Design Guidelines which are not mandatory requirements, but provide a defined framework of the design principles that supplement the Rules and zoning development standards.The guidelines provide direction on the more qualitative aspects of a development project and may be interpreted with some flexibility.
The guidelines are utilized during the City’s development review process to encourage the highest level of design quality, while at the same, time providing the flexibility necessary to encourage creativity on the part of project designers. Some guidelines may not apply in every circumstance and therefore should not be interpreted to be “always required”. Project proponents are encouraged to articulate their reasons or objectives in not meeting encouraged guidelines contained herein and are welcome to propose alternatives that meet the intent of an encouraged design guideline. All projects are evaluated on their adherence to the Design Rules and the degree to which substantial compliance with the intent of Design Guidelines is demonstrated, leading to a recommendation of project approval or denial.
2. DESIGN GUIDELINE REFERENCES
A number of Design Guidelines and Design Policies that have previously been adopted by the City Council provide specific guidance for particular geographic areas and/or types of development, and may supersede requirements specified in this document. This document provides direction for properties that are NOT located within an area or topic regulated by one of the following guidelines. Furthermore, Planned District (PD) zone policies and guidelines, Planned Unit Developments (PUDs), and other applicable site-specific entitlements should be reviewed as they may contain unique and in certain instances, overriding design considerations to those found in this document. If PD or PUD guidelines are silent with regard to a particular design requirement, the Citywide Design Guidelines shall apply. Please consult development review staff for further assistance and direction.
- City Center Community Plan
- Community Character Element of the General Plan
- Place Type Manual – Community Character Element
- Community Plans Element of the General Plan
- Downtown Community Plan and Design Guidelines
- Fence and Wall Design Guidelines for Major Arterials
- Glenmoor Gardens Design Guidelines
- Irvington Design Guidelines
- Mission Ranch Design Guidelines
- Mission San Jose Design Guidelines
- Multifamily Residential Design Guidelines
Chapter 4: Fremont WTF Design Guidelines
- WTF = Wireless Telecommunications Facilities
- Chapter 4 starts on page 49
- Source: https://fremont.gov/DocumentCenter/View/21012/Citywide-Design-Guidelines
The primary purpose of these guidelines is to ensure visually acceptable facility design and to provide direction on required and preferred design of wireless facilities.
1. ALL FACILITIES
4.1.1R All proposed wireless facilities shall be located so as to minimize their visibility.
4.1.2R Applicants shall use architectural treatments and “stealth techniques” to reduce potential visual impacts from all wireless facilities, and especially for those proposed in areas easily visible from a scenic route as identified in the General Plan, as well as from major traffic corridors, or commercial centers.
2. ROOF-MOUNTED FACILITIES
DESIGN RULES & GUIDELINES
4.2.1R Roof-mounted antennas shall not be placed in direct line of sight from scenic routes and commercial centers unless they incorporate appropriate stealth techniques such as designing them to appear as rooftop vents, or architectural features. Installation of new parapet walls or adding roof enclosures may also be considered.
4.2.2R All roof-mounted antennas and equipment shall be located to minimize visibility from public right-of-ways. Antennas and equipment shall be located as far back from the roof edge as feasible to minimize the visual impact from the public right-of-way, unless adequate stealth or screening techniques are used (parapets, roof enclosure, etc.).
4.2.3G All equipment and wiring should be located within an enclosure.
3. FAÇADE-MOUNTED FACILITIES
DESIGN RULES & GUIDELINES
4.3.1R Façade-mounted antennas shall be painted and textured to match the existing structure, unless incorporated as a design element of the building.
4.3.2R Antennas and the associated mountings shall not project beyond a maximum of eighteen (18) inches from the face of a building, unless they are considered to be an architectural element of the overall building design. No exposed cabling is permitted.
4.3.3G Façade-mounted antennas should be camouflaged by incorporating the antennas as part of the dominant design element of the building.
4.3.4G When façade-mounted antennas are used as a design element, additional faux elements may be required to be installed in order to retain the architectural design continuity of the building.
4.3.5G Proposed façade antennas should be located in a symmetrical, balanced design consistent with the building design. Antennas should be no longer or wider than the façade on which they would be located.
4. GROUND-MOUNTED FACILITIES AND GROUND-LEVEL EQUIPMENT ENCLOSURES DESIGN RULES & GUIDELINES
4.4.1R Equipment cabinets and wireless facilities located on the ground shall be placed in areas least visible from public right-ofways, and have minimal impacts to existing landscape removal.
4.4.2R Equipment cabinets and wireless facilities located on the ground and visible from a public right-of-way shall be screened from public view. Screening techniques may include an enclosure, and / or landscaping. In areas where visibility cannot be screened architectural treatment compatible with existing buildings, an underground vault, or a boxART installation may be required.
4.4.3G Wherever possible, equipment cabinets and wireless facilities on the ground should be located away from open spaces and required yard setbacks and should be placed within the building envelope area.
DESIGN RULES & GUIDELINES
4.5.1G Freestanding monopoles should be stealth or camouflaged to blend into the surrounding environment. Simple or single “radome” or “slimline” poles may be considered sufficiently stealth in parking lots, street right-of-ways, and in heavy industrial settings.
4.5.2R All cables must be routed directly from the ground up through the pole. Equipment enclosures shall completely enclose or hide cabling. No exposed cabling is allowed.
4.5.3R Monopoles shall not be located in a front or side street setback unless designed as a stealth structure that might otherwise be permitted in the setback, such as a flag pole or sign structure.
4.5.4G Faux tree monopoles should replicate the shape, structure, and color of live trees, and be similar in appearance to the surrounding trees with regard to color and species.
4.5.5R All faux trees monopoles must incorporate a sufficient number of branches / foliage materials to screen antennas / cables and provide as natural, mature and healthy appearance as possible. There shall be no gaps in branch coverage and branches should extend beyond the mounted equipment.
4.5.6R All antennas and associated equipment components on a faux tree shall have covers or needle “socks”.
6. RIGHT-OF-WAY INSTALLATIONS
DESIGN RULES & GUIDELINES
4.6.1R Installations on existing utility poles must use all design techniques possible to minimize visual impacts.
4.6.2G Due to the potential visual impacts associated with Right-of-Way installations, consider using Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) or Small Cell facilities.
4.6.3G Antennas and pole-mounted equipment should be screened or disguised with shrouding and / or located behind existing traffic signs.
4.6.4G Minimize the quantity and size of equipment placed on poles. Long and narrow equipment, as opposed to wide and bulky equipment should be used. Equipment should be clustered as much as possible and located toward the top end of the pole.
4.6.5R There shall be no flashing lights or unnecessary, distracting, non-essential or poorly placed warning stickers, unless required by law.
4.6.6R There shall be no exposed cables or wiring. Cables shall be concealed within a sleeve between the bottom of the antenna and the mounting bracket.
4.6.7G Exterior panel antennas should not exceed the height of the pole.
4.6.8G Wireless metering shaped in a small disc or “puck” style electric smart meters should be utilized to the greatest extent possible.
4.6.9G Avoid installations with wide offsets from the pole. Equipment should not project more than twelve (12) inches from the pole.
4.6.10G Avoid poles that are directly in front of businesses. Poles near street corners, landscaped areas, or in alleys should be considered for installation first.
4.6.11G Equipment should be minimally visible through the use of an underground vault. If not feasible, above ground cabinets must be designed and located in an area with minimal visual impact or as a boxART installation to reduce visual impact.
4.6.12R In no case shall equipment block the sidewalk or pedestrian pathway. All installations must maintain accessibility requirements and standards.
4.6.13R Equipment shall be painted with graffiti-resistant paint to match pole color and surroundings.
4.6.14R All disturbed pavement and landscaping shall be replaced and areas of bare or disturbed soils must be re-vegetated. If replacement landscape is determined to be infeasible the City may accept mitigation funds to use elsewhere within city rights-of-way.
7. LANDSCAPING / FENCING
DESIGN RULES & GUIDELINES
4.7.1R Landscaping shall be used as screening where conditions allow, to minimize visual impacts and should be visually compatible with existing vegetation in the vicinity.
4.7.2R All wireless facilities shall be installed in a manner that maintains and enhances existing vegetation.
4.7.3G New landscaping should be drought tolerant and designed to be natural and clustered.
Chapter 18.235 DESIGN REVIEW PERMITS
Source: Code Publishing here.
The purpose of design review is to implement the general plan’s land use and aesthetic goals and policies and to ensure compliance with adopted development standards, design rules and guidelines in order to protect health, safety, and general welfare and promote the orderly development of the city by improving the harmony, compatibility, natural and aesthetic quality of architecture, landscape architecture, and engineering design of structures and site design. (Ord. 9-2014 § 32, 3-4-14; Ord. 05-2018 § 25, 3-20-18.)
18.235.020 Approval required.
(a) Ministerial design review shall be required for the following development projects and uses unless the district regulations require discretionary review, the project requires another discretionary permit from the planning commission, the project is inconsistent with adopted design rules, or the project may affect a potential or designated historic register resource requiring review by the historical architectural review board:
(1) Single-family homes that would not cause the primary building to exceed 7,500 square feet in area and additions to single-family homes that meet the development standards for the zoning district where they are located and design rules contained in the citywide design guidelines.
(A) Accessory structures.
(b) Discretionary design review shall be required for the following development projects and uses:
(1) Single-family homes that would cause the primary building to exceed 7,500 square feet in area and new single-family homes or additions to single-family homes that do not meet the design rules contained in the citywide design guidelines.
(2) Multifamily residential projects to the extent consistent with the requirements of the Housing Accountability Act, except projects proposed under Cal. Gov’t Code § 65913.4, which are subject to ministerial design review in accordance with Section 18.235.025.
(3) Commercial development projects.
(4) Any other use requiring another discretionary approval from the planning commission or historical architectural review board wherein exterior building or site improvements are proposed. For purposes of this provision, the term “exterior building or site improvements” excludes the following: (A) anything excluded from the definition of “structure” in Section 18.25.2760; (B) any small structure unsuitable for human habitation, the nature of which either is personal property or was personal property prior to being annexed to realty; and (C) any grading, paving, curb, gutter, sidewalk, drain, utility, or the like that does not materially impact the aesthetics of a built environment.
(c) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter and subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (Cal. Pub. Res. Code § 21000 et seq.):
(1) No application to construct a housing development project shall be denied or conditioned in a manner that would reduce the density of the project or render it economically infeasible if the proposed project complies with all applicable, objective general plan, zoning, subdivision, and design review standards in effect at the time the application is determined to be complete, unless the approval authority makes a written finding that is supported by a preponderance of the evidence on the record that the project would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety unless disapproved or conditioned accordingly, and there is no other feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact. For purposes of this subsection, it is the applicant’s burden to show by a preponderance of the evidence that any condition on a housing development project would have the effect of rendering the project economically infeasible.
(2) No application to construct an emergency shelter or housing development project for very low, low, or moderate income households, including farmworker housing, shall be denied or approved subject to conditions, including design changes, lower density, or a reduction in the percentage of a lot that may be occupied by a building or structure under the applicable planning and zoning in force at the time the application is determined complete, that have an adverse effect on the viability or affordability of the project, unless any of the findings identified in Cal. Gov’t Code § 65589.5(d) is made in writing and is supported by a preponderance of the evidence.
(3) For purposes of this subsection, the term “housing development project” includes projects containing two or more residential units, mixed-use projects with at least two-thirds of the proposed square footage designated for residential space, and transitional or supportive housing, as defined in Cal. Gov’t Code § 65589.5(h). The term “housing for very low, low, or moderate income households” shall have the meaning ascribed by Cal. Gov’t Code § 65589.5(h), and the term “specific, adverse impact” shall have the meaning ascribed in Cal. Gov’t Code § 65589.5(j). (Ord. 9-2014 § 32, 3-4-14; Ord. 01-2017 § 19, 1-3-17; Ord. 05-2018 § 26, 3-20-18; Ord. 23-2018 § 42, 10-2-18.)
18.235.025 Streamlined approval process for affordable housing.
A development proponent may submit an application for a development that is subject to a streamlined, ministerial approval process if the development satisfies the requirements specified in Cal. Gov’t Code § 65913.4. (Ord. 05-2018 § 27, 3-20-18.)
18.235.030 Application and accompanying material.
An application for design review shall be submitted to the zoning administrator on a form prescribed for that purpose by the city. The application shall include all required fees and/or deposits and all information and materials required by the city, including information and drawings to support the findings required for design review. Applications may only be filed by the property owner or by the owner’s agent with the written consent of the property owner. (Ord. 9-2014 § 32, 3-4-14.)
18.235.040 Approval authority.
(a) Zoning Administrator. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the zoning administrator shall consider and act upon all applications for design review, except as specified in subsections (b) and (c) of this section.
(1) The zoning administrator may delegate approval authority for ministerial design review to a member of the community development staff.
(2) The zoning administrator may also refer an application for design review to the planning commission for decision if the zoning administrator determines that an application warrants consideration by the planning commission.
(b) Planning Commission. Where an application for design review is required in conjunction with another permit where the planning commission is the approval authority, the planning commission shall consider and act upon the application for design review after a public hearing.
(c) Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB). Where a development project is located within a historical overlay district (HOD) and review is required in accordance with Chapter 18.135 or where a development project may affect a potential or designated register resource as defined in Chapter 18.175 (Historic Resources), the project shall be reviewed by HARB. (Ord. 9-2014 § 32, 3-4-14.)
18.235.050 Public notice and hearing – Discretionary design review.
The approval authority shall conduct a public hearing on an application for discretionary design review. At least 10 days prior to the public hearing, notice shall be given of the proposed application as set forth in Chapter 18.320. (Ord. 9-2014 § 32, 3-4-14.)
18.235.060 Action and findings by approval authority – Discretionary design review.
The approval authority may approve, conditionally approve, or deny an application for discretionary design review. The approval authority shall approve or conditionally approve an application for discretionary design review only when all of the following findings can be made:
(a) The proposed project is consistent with the general plan, any applicable community or specific plan, planning and zoning regulations, and any adopted design rules and guidelines;
(b) When a proposed project is inconsistent with an adopted design rule, the purpose and intent of the design rule is met through alternative means;
(c) The multifamily residential1 project’s architectural, site, and landscape design will not be detrimental to the public health or safety; or a nonmultifamily project’s architectural, site, and landscape design will not unreasonably interfere with the use and enjoyment of adjacent development nor be detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare; and
(d) Where HARB review is required, the proposed project is consistent with the applicable standards and findings required in Chapters 18.135 and 18.175. (Ord. 9-2014 § 32, 3-4-14; Ord. 05-2018 § 28, 3-20-18.)
18.235.070 Action and finding by approval authority – Ministerial design review.
The approval authority shall approve an application for ministerial design review when the zoning administrator or designee finds that the proposed project is consistent with fixed standards set forth in the general plan, any applicable community or specific plan, planning and zoning regulations, and adopted design rules. The zoning administrator or designee may only impose conditions that would make the project conform to adopted standards or design rules. (Ord. 9-2014 § 32, 3-4-14; Ord. 05-2018 § 29, 3-20-18.)
18.235.080 Effective date – Appeals.
A decision of the approval authority shall be effective on the date following the expiration of the appeal period, as described in Chapter 18.300, unless an appeal is timely filed pursuant to Chapter 18.300. No application for discretionary design review shall be granted on appeal unless the findings set forth in Section 18.235.060 are made by the planning commission or city council, as applicable, and no application for ministerial design review shall be granted on appeal unless the finding set forth in Section 18.235.070 is made by the planning commission or city council, as applicable. (Ord. 9-2014 § 32, 3-4-14.)
18.235.090 Time limits, expiration and revocation of design review permits.
(a) A design review permit shall be considered to be attached to and running with the land unless the permit has expired or has been revoked or modified.
(b) Time limits, expiration and revocation of design review permits shall be subject to the procedures described in Chapter 18.330. (Ord. 9-2014 § 32, 3-4-14.)
18.235.100 Amendments to design review permits.
The zoning administrator shall have the authority to approve minor modifications to a design review permit approval as long as the modified design substantially complies with the approved design. All other amendments to approved design review permits shall be subject to the same application and review requirements as a new application for design review. (Ord. 9-2014 § 32, 3-4-14; Ord. 23-2018 § 43, 10-2-18.)
4.7.4R Additional adapted or native vegetation or trees may be required, where deemed necessary, to provide additional screening or to create a more natural landscape environment, in particular surrounding faux trees.
4.7.5R Any vegetation that is disturbed during construction shall be restored. Planting used for restoration shall be similar to the existing vegetation in the area.
4.7.6R Fencing shall be constructed of solid material at a minimum height of six (6) feet, but tall enough to screen equipment. No chain-link or barbed-wire fencing is permitted.
8. COLORS AND MATERIALS
DESIGN RULES & GUIDELINES
4.8.1R Colors and materials for antennas and equipment cabinets shall be chosen to minimize the visibility of the wireless facility.
4.8.2R Antennas shall be painted and textured to match the existing structures, unless used consistently as a design element to add visual interest to the building.
4.8.3R Ground-mounted facilities shall be painted with non-reflective matte finish paint using color shades that are compatible or blend with surrounding natural elements such as soil, trees or grasslands.
4.8.4R All roof-mounted facilities shall be painted with non-reflective matte finish paint using an appropriate color that blends with the backdrop and / or building.