By Elaine Brown, Resident, Village of Oak Creek
(November 27, 2012)
Neighbors and Friends:
I attended the Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Meeting on November 21, 2012 to speak against the proposal of two new AT&T cell towers in our Yavapai County area. The Planning and Zoning Commission will make a recommendation to approve to our County Supervisors who will make a final decision at their Supervisors meeting on December 17th, 2012 in Cottonwood. Agenda:
Before I go into the details, you need to know that when you speak at a cell tower application, nothing that you say about environment can be used to base a decision on the approval or denial because a Congressional Act put into place in 1996 forbids it.
Sec 704. Facilities Siting; Radio Frequency Emission Standards of the Telecommunications Act of 1996
You could spend the entire public comment period talking about the effect of microwaves on children’s brains or animals or plants, trees… All the health data that is already out there, the fact that most of us are living here because environment is a passion…sorry. Microwaves pollute the air… no, sorry.
If you do say too much about environment or health, a county employee will stand up and read the part of the Sec 704 relating to State and Local Government.
(iv) No State or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission’s regulations concerning such emissions.
Yavapai County’s hands are tied. This is happening throughout the United States. There are things that State and local Government can control but our ordinances are outdated and not protective enough.
We recently had a “modification” of an existing stealth tower in the VOC and because of a Planning and Zoning ordinance, an Administrative Review with no public comment was allowed. No one was informed about this in our Village, not a homeowner or a business or even our organized groups. This cell tower with an unknown expansion of new antennas is leased roof top space for the next 30 years. It impedes the view of Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte, which I can complain about. Just not my environment.
6. Wireless Use Permit; APN: 408-29-002W; HA# H12090
Applicant: Clear Blue Services for AT&T
Project Name: AT&T Sedona Pines YA74
Request: Consideration of a Wireless Use Permit to allow for the construction and operation of a new 99’ mom-pine tower with equipment shelters on a leased area of 30’ x 20’ on an approximate 14.68 acre parcel in a RCU-2A (Rural, Residential, single family, 2 acre minimum lot size) zoning district. The applicant is also requesting waivers of fall-zone requirements and setback requirements along with a waiver of new wireless facilities being built within 1,000 ft. of residences. The property is located north of West State Route 89A and approximately 1125’ northeast of the intersection ofCottona Way and S.R. 89A within the Sedona Pines Resort west of the City ofSedona. S19
T17N R05E G&SRB&M
Staff: Nicole Russell
There were a couple of letters against and for. There were two people that spoke in opposition including myself. The other woman spoke on the related health issues. She was spot on, accurate, concerned about everyone in the path of the microwaves. Sorry.
I asked if waiving a fall zone would be a violation of the fifth amendment-no taking of property or property rights for public use without compensation- after all it could fall. I asked them to check with the County attorney. The commission asked about the liability of the tower falling.
The AT&T Tower rep from Clear Blue Services stated that the engineer who designed the tree would assume all liability. We were never given the name of this engineer.
I asked that the 1,000 feet not be waived. We have such few ordinances to protect us. Distance is our key to safety.
This property is located on the Scenic 89a Corridor from Sedona to Cottonwood. It is not compatible with our brand new Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan. There were no other options presented, just the requests to remove the few ordinances we have to keep the towers at a safe distance.
There is an existing 80 ft. flagpole cell tower in this same vicinity. There is no room for collocation. The proposed pine tower will be 99 ft.
They were approved for recommendation just at it is written. 5 for 3 against.
7. Wireless Use Permit; APN: 406-46-330A; HA# H12089
Applicant: Clear Blue Services for AT&T
Project Name: AT&T Verde Village YA72
Request: Consideration of a Wireless Use Permit to allow for the construction and operation of a new 90’ mono-pine tower with equipment shelters on a leased area of 30’ x 20’ with an 8’ chain link fence with 3-strand barbed wire on an approximate .3 acre parcel in a C2-3 (Commercial; General Sales and Services) zoning district. The applicant is also requesting waivers of fall-zone requirements, solid screening requirements along with a waiver of new wireless facilities being built within 1,000 ft. of residences. The property is located approximately 486’ north of the intersection of E. Western Dr.andS. Village Dr.and approx. 470’ east of S. State Route 260 in the Verde Village Community. S13 T15N R03E G&SRB&M
Staff: Nicole Russell
We were given no details on this 90 ft. pine cell tower.
There is residential area that sits right behind the commercial section.
The proposed tower would sit 120 feet from a residential duplex.
It was approved for recommendation as it is written. 5 for 3 against.
December 17th, 2012 will set the tone for international tourist destination Sedona and all of the Verde Valley and Yavapai County with regard to future cell tower placement. If we lose our distance we lose our safety.
Please mark the date and plan to attend. The stakes are high. Don’t expect that others will come forward and do it for you. Participation is key.
Please write to yourCountySupervisorand let them know how you feel in the form of a complaint. The complaints will be sent to all three Supervisors in advance of the meeting for review. Complaints can be about distance, safety, historic and scenic reasons, tourism,CountyPlanadherence, etc. You may also write about environment and health, it just cannot be used to base a decision. If there are experts out there we need your help.
You may email all three Supervisors:
Village of Oak Creek