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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Letter to City Council

September 10, 2012


Hon. Herb J. Wesson, Jr., President

Ho. Ed P. Reyes, President Pro Tempore

Hon. Tom La Bonge, Assistant President Pro Tempore

Hon. Richard Alarcon

Hon. Joe Buscaino

Hon. Jose Cardenas

Hon. Mitchell Englander

Hon. Eric Garcetti

Hon. Jose Huizar

Hon. Paul Koretz

Hon. Paul Krekorian

Hon. Bernard C. Parks

Hon. Jan Perry

Hon. Bill Rosendahl

Hon. Dennis P. Zine


Los Angeles City Council

City Hall

200 North Spring Street

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Re: Council File No. 09-2645/Proposed Amendments to "Above Ground Facilities" Ordinance, LAMC Sec. 63.03.2 ("AGF Ordinance") – City Council Agenda 9/11/12


Honorable Councilmembers

Get the CELL Out is a group of Sherman Oaks community stakeholders who have been adversely affected by the current ordinance of cell tower installations in the Public Right of Way (PROW). Get the CELL Out strongly supports the reports of the PLUM and Public Works Committees ("Reports"), which recommend that the AGF Ordinance be amended in the following respects:

  • Remove the utility pole/light pole exemption
  • Expand the notification requirements
  • Enhance existing aesthetic criteria
  • Impose permit duration limits

Get the CELL Out urges the Council to adopt the Report without delay. We would further request that the Council direct the following additional, reasonable amendments to the AGF Ordinance.  

  • Require that renewed permits fall under the requirements of the new ordinance:
    • This provision is consistent with the San Francisco Ordinance, specifically Section 4.b.2 which states "The Department shall require that any Personal Wireless Service Facility installed in the Public-Rights-of-Way prior to the effective date of Ordinance No. 214-07 be subject to all of the requirements of this ordinance."
  • Enact that any pending application for a permit that is not final on the effective date of the ordinance shall be subject to the requirements of this ordinance.
    • This provision is consistent with San Francisco Ordinance, specifically Section 4.b.1 which states "any pending application for a permit under Chapter 11, Article 1, Section 11.9 (b) of the San Francisco Administrative Code that is not final on the effective date of this ordinance shall be subject to the requirements of this ordinance."
  • Expansion of the right of appeal to "all aggrieved persons" 
    • Consistent with appeal rights under L.A. Zoning Code for CUPs/private property installations; currently, appeal of AGF permits in the PROW is only afforded to the limited number of owners/occupants who received notice -- a highly restrictive provision which stands alone among California cities.
  • Provision for public comment and/or a hearing prior to permit issuance, for all proposed installations in residential zones
    • Currently no such hearings are provided for.
  • Requirement for the applicant to provide an RF emissions analysis and/or a certification of compliance with FCC requirements

§  In 2011 the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer reports that radio frequency electromagnetic fields are possibly carcinogenic to humans based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer associated with wireless phone use. An RF emissions analysis would appropriately inform stakeholders of their level of risk.

Numerous large and/or nearby California cities include several of the above provisions in their ordinances governing PROW installations. We believe they fairly protect the rights of stakeholders who otherwise might be adversely affected by minimal installation and notification requirements.


Thank you for your consideration and attention to this important matter.


Get the CELL Out