(December 12, 2012)
DearYavapaiCounty Supervisors Davis, Thurman and Springer:
I oppose the upcoming two proposals for an AT&T 90 ft cell tower in VerdeVillage, 406-46-330A; HA# H12089 and an AT&T 99ft. cell tower in Sedona Pines, APN: 408-29-002W; HA# H12090. This will be your decision on December 17th, 2012 in Cottonwood. I am asking you to vote NO on both. No. No.
My heart has been very heavy with sadness and disbelief since I found out that my beloved Country has a congressional act that prohibits you from considering the environment or your citizens’ health when making decisions about wireless communications placement. I am so appalled by the fact that I have had to set aside my core values concerning environment and health and fight a battle using scenic roads and visual intrusions, historic trails and other community won battles to try and protect my neighbors and myself.
I’ve done a lot of good research and now know where we are potentially headed. I also know that good will always prevail if people have the courage to do the right thing. You have a duty and moral responsibility to maintain public health and safety as a number one priority, not number five out of seven as it stated in Yavapai County planning and zoning ordinance Section 605, Wireless Communication Facilities.
Do we have independent engineers that review applications and modifications to existing sites? Are we demanding the ongoing monitoring of tower emissions from the Wireless Communications applicants at their cost? That should be standard. Are these applicants required to tell inform the County when they sell or transfer it to someone else for future liability reasons? The service provider, tower owner and land owner should all be part of the application process to prevent speculative building. Do we do that? Are we simply allowing planning and zoning to say yes, it could go there and then turning a blind eye towards everything else? Are we assuming the towers are right for each particular area? Do we know the frequencies of all the existing and proposed towers? We should only be allowing signal strengths that will provide adequate coverage for an adequate capacity, not blanket coverage. The right to determine signal strength at the local level has been upheld in federal case law and by the FCC. It is understood that there will be holes in coverage, especially in hilly topography. Have we been allowing more than approximately 75% coverage because we just don’t know any better? Is it going to prohibit service if we say no? Hills, mountains, terrain and materials are all affecting the signal once it leaves the source. You have a responsibility to know what that means if you are surrounding your citizens with these frequencies. Wireless technology is ever expanding. Bandwidths are being superimposed on other bandwidths. Who knows anything about that? Are we using it anywhere in the County? How would we know? Does the County presently have an engineer that specializes in this technology? If we do, please guide me to him or her. I have a couple of questions.
Personal Communication towers are already available. AT&T sells them to fill the gaps. It’s a little cell tower for your living room. What about that? Why do we need more towers if we already have that? What else is out there? We need to know that.
Planning and Zoning should be very strict regarding Wireless Communications and our ordinances are outdated and not protective enough. We have rights that are not being exercised. We need larger setbacks. We need by-right zones where facilities can locate-but nowhere else. We should require extensive engineering detail in the application. Do we? I am asking you to respect the little distance we have for safety. Our current distance of 1,000 feet is inadequate with out waiving it. We also need our fall zones.
States, Counties and small communities are winning the battle to keep safety in their lives. I am requesting that you immediately place a moratorium on any further wireless communications placement in Yavapai County until a Master Plan can be developed and implemented to protect the safety of our citizens, millions of visitors and businesses. Safety is paramount.
These proposed towers are incompatible with Yavapai County’s Comprehensive Plan. The environment is our business. Perhaps our Chamber of Commerce could start asking the two million plus visitors a year from around the world if they travel here because of our scenic views or their phone service. Shall we? If we continue to consider wireless communications placement on a case-by-case basis with no Master Plan, we could eventually lose our environmental business and then it won’t matter.We should follow the Precautionary Principle at this time for many reasons.
It is very simple. When there is doubt, do no further harm. Better safe than sorry. Thank you for your consideration.
Village of Oak Creek