Cell phones in Pleasanton: Better reception or no new towers?

Council, planning staff to weigh in on updating old, pre-4G regulations

Even before the city's Planning Commission votes on a bid by Verizon Wireless to build a 65-foot-high cell phone transmission tower in Pleasanton, the City Council agreed Tuesday night to take a new look at regulations that restrict these towers in many parts of town.

At the council's urging, City Manager Nelson Fialho and Brian Dolan, director of Community Development, said they would have staff and planners look at current regulations that date back to 2003. Those rules prohibit cell phone towers from being installed in public parks, near schools and in residential areas.

Those rules, the city attorney's office said, were made to avoid any impact on property values. The city was blocked from considering any health risks from electronic transmissions at the towers because of federal regulations declaring them to be safe and not subject to further state or local regulations.

Verizon, represented by Complete Wireless Consultants, has asked the Planning Commission for a permit to install its 65-foot-high tower, to be disguised as a pine tree, on city-owned land near Bernal Corporate Park and I-680 and near Corte Monterey. A decision is expected to be made at the commission's meeting next Wednesday.

Neighbors on Corte Monterey said they have been participating in the Planning Commission's review of the Verizon proposal for the last six months. They are concerned that Verizon's bid is just the first of many to follow as widespread demand for 4G wireless communications systems increases. Walnut Creek has already declared a moratorium on more cell phone tower considerations pending a detailed study and they asked the Pleasanton council to do the same.

Fialho said city staff is recommending against Verizon's application, but agreed that it's time to review and possible update the Pleasanton ordinance.

He cautioned, however, that changing the regulations in place could mean considering a number of new federal regulations governing cell phone communications that could impact any new rules Pleasanton considers.


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Posted by Maja7
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Nov 17, 2010 at 8:38 am

If the towers can't be installed in public parks, near schools and in residential areas, exactly where can they be installed?

I think this is typical of our current social climate. "We" all want the latest toys (cell phones, i-pads,etc) and wireless but we don't want any of the 'ugly' technology that makes these things possible. "We" are like children, we want it all but we are not willing to make the necessary sacrifices/accomodations, let someone else do it.

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Posted by GlenL
a resident of Civic Square
on Nov 17, 2010 at 9:07 am

Maja7 has it exactly right.

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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 17, 2010 at 9:14 am

City staff recommends against. Simple. Fire the city staff!

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Nov 17, 2010 at 9:16 am

I agree whole-heartedly with Maja7.

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Posted by James Above Foothill
a resident of West of Foothill
on Nov 17, 2010 at 9:57 am

I believe we can agree that modern society needs updated infrastructure, and the main issue is appearance of the tower; so let all of us attend a task force meeting to view how the tower will be disguised and ask for locations of similar simulated pine tree towers. Let's take a look before judgment.

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Posted by Scott
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Nov 17, 2010 at 11:39 am

If City Hall had lackluster cell services due to lack of cell towers, would we be having this conversation? Please attend Wednesday's City Hall Meeting and voice your opinion.

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Posted by Padrick
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2010 at 12:14 pm

The Bay Area has become a poster child for environmental loonism. It takes 5 times as long to get virtually any infrastructure improvements done here as it does in the midsection of the country. Any improvements we do get in wind up costing 2-3 times as much as they should because of environmental-loon lawsuits and roadblocks, and militant unions loading down projects with overpriced labor and inefficient working methods. Now the environmental loons are standing in the way of even simple projects like cell phone towers, even when they're disguised as trees. These loons, whose favorite fear word to incite the masses is "radiation" should be a lot more worried about their tanning booths, cell phones against their heads, or the new airport scanners x-raying their privates than they should be about cell phone towers. People and companies are fleeing this state because of environmental and left-wing loonism and we are in a death spiral of economic decline.

Now we get to have a hearing before the City Council so The Three (re-elected) Stooges can decide this matter. It most likely will come down to whether Verizon has the Council "seeing green" or not.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2010 at 1:05 pm


You should definitely move to the Midwest.

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Posted by Ryan
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 17, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Maja7 and Padrick: You are both completely on-target.

And I have news for you "Hmmm", folks like Maja7, Padrick and I are not going to leave this wonderful state just because we have fools at the helm, doing whatever they can to send it back to the stone-age.

Instead we are going to stay here and fight for what I say is one of the best place in the world to live. The *worst* case scenario I see here is a complete fiscal meltdown that will have the offending local governments (as well as the state government) being forced to shutdown -- fortunately, I don't see this happening in our city.

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Posted by Ajay
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Nov 18, 2010 at 9:20 am

absolutely agree with Maja7. We need to have these towers. But everybody these days is a NIMBY including me.

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Posted by John
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Both Verizon and AT&T have terrible coverage in Pleasanton, esp around Birdland and The Preserves.

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Posted by Maja7
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 19, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I was surprised to read your comment because I have Verizon (as do my 3 children & husband) and have not encountered problems. Meaning, never 'dropped' a call (hope I'm not jinxing myself). Could it be just those two areas you mentioned that lack good coverage?

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Posted by Member
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Nov 21, 2010 at 12:33 am

Sprint service also needs more towers.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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