No Cell Tower at Moulton Meadows Park

The City of Laguna Beach has approved for consideration by the Planning Commission a Verizon cell tower to be built on 832 square feet at Moulton Meadows Park (MMP), adjacent to the playground, tennis courts, and soccer field.

 

Please sign this petition demanding that no cell tower be installed at MMP.

 

Why?

  1. No notification was given to nearby residents before City Council voted 3-2 to send the proposal to the Planning Commission. It appears the City Council did not properly advertise the March 23rd meeting at which the cell tower at MMP was discussed and voted on.
  2. The placement of the proposed tower would result in a decline in property values in the Arch Beach Heights area of up to 20%, as argued by the Appraisal Institute. Lower home values lead to lower property taxes and less revenue for the City of Laguna Beach.
  3. The proposed tower poses significant fire and safety hazards, due to: a) its location in an area prone to windstorms (cell towers have fallen when subject to strong winds); b) the nature and lack of security of the facility’s antennae and equipment (wildfires have begun from improperly maintained and/or serviced cell towers); c) the lead acid battery back up systems, which become highly unstable and subject to explosion when not maintained at a constant level of 77° F; and, d) its proximity to the playground and children, who might be drawn to climb the tower.
  4. Laguna Beach’s Zoning Compliance states that “Transmitting telecommunication facilities are most appropriately located in commercial and industrial zones and are strongly discouraged in residential zones or adjacent to schools.”
  5. The proposed tower would mar neighborhood views (it would be a major visual blight in the park), and, if modified to withstand wind and provide appropriate security, would pose additional significant aesthetic issues.
  6. The noise of the equipment and from workers servicing the facility would adversely impact nearby residents.
  7. Cell phone service is adequate in Laguna Beach. The Verizon “gap” in service is questionable and has yet to be demonstrated. Also, Verizon has an option to offer (at no charge, or for a nominal rental fee) to clients unsatisfied with cell phone service their Network Extender, a mini cell antenna for the home that provides full wireless coverage for up to 5,000 square feet.
  8. The City of Laguna Beach has the legal authority to deny Verizon’s application for a permit for this facility. The 2008 decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirms the discretion of cities and counties in California to regulate the location and appearance of wireless installations (Sprint Telephony PCS v. County of San Diego).
  9. Laguna Beach’s residents’ basic right to self-governance and the protection of our property and environment is in jeopardy. Our democratic rights should be held higher than the goal of any single industry.

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