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AT&T Applies to Put 9 Cell Towers in Kensington: the Review Process and What You Can Do

The basics of how to comment, and the public review process for AT&T's application to put nine cell towers in Kensington in 2013. Where the Kensington cell towers are proposed to be placed and more.

AT&T has applied to put cell towers (which it calls 'cell sites') on public property at the following locations in Kensington on January 14, 2013:

123 Purdue

8 Highland

8 Sunset

96 Rincon (near the Kensington Nursery School and the Montessori School)

121 Windsor

110 Ardmore

245 Berkeley Park Blvd.

248 Grizzly Peak Blvd. (at the south entrance to the fire trail /walking path)

18 Highgate (at the foot of Blake Gardens)

According to the plans AT&T presented to the county, all of these towers will be created by modifying existing telephone polls. The polls are currently between 26 to 44 feet tall and are proposed to be increased to 45 to 53 feet tall. The two tallest cell towers are proposed for 8 Sunset at 53 feet and 248 Grizzly Peak at 50 feet.

On all nine applications, AT&T lists the proposed cell tower as not in an earthquake zone.  Depending on how you define 'zone', this is incorrect for all or some of the towers. The Hayward fault runs through Kensington and at least several of the proposed towers would to be located within the active fault zone, as usually defined by geologists to be within a quarter mile of a fault trace.

The county has given agencies, such as the Kensington Municipal Advisory Council [KMAC], until today, February 14th to comment on AT&T's application for the permit to construct the towers.

In a phone interview yesterday, Francisco Avila, the Contra Costa Conservation and Development administrator for the AT&T applications, clarified that although the agencies have a deadline of February 14th, for comments on the proposals, Kensington residents have a longer time.  He suggested that residents get  comments to him within the next few weeks. 

The applications list two ways of contacting Mr. Avila and giving comments on the cell tower proposals. They are:

email: francisco.avila@dcd.cccounty.us

phone: 925 674 7801

Copies of the applications and plans that AT&T filed (or most of it) are available at the Kensington Public Library.

There will be at least two public hearings on AT&Ts proposed cell towers in Kensington.

Feb. 26 7 p.m. at the Kensington Community Center organized by KMAC

The second, the county's public hearing on AT&T's cell tower proposals, according to Mr. Avila, hasn't been scheduled yet.

On the site nocelltower.com (2/14/13) is found the following quote:

“Cell-phone providers have the [federal] Telecommunications Act of 1996 working for them, which prevents municipalities from denying a project because of health concerns or when other providers have already been allowed to mount towers.” 

If this is true, what this suggests, among other things, is that once a community allows one cell phone provider to put in a tower or towers, that community has to accept all providers putting towers in.  So far, Kensington has no cell phone towers.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Eyleen Nadolny February 15, 2013 at 08:24 PM
Would you feel the same way if one of the towers was placed on a telephone pole right in front of your house?
Marilyn Stollon February 19, 2013 at 02:06 AM
We live further down the hill and I know we are in an earthquake zone, but not a slide area... so what is ATT talking about. Do you think one of those poles with segmented parts would hold up in an earthquake? Please drive around and imagine what a super tall pole would look like in your area. M
Kathy A. February 19, 2013 at 03:01 AM
Honestly, if the big one hits the Hayward fault, the potential damage from cell tower additions to existing power poles will be far down the list of problems. Whereas, having cell access from towers remaining in service would be very handy. In more normal times, it would be good to have reliable cell access around Kensington and in Tilden Park.
Marilyn Stollon February 19, 2013 at 08:17 PM
I would like to suggest that you all read the article about the fire/wind safety dangers of having top heavy poles in our area. This occurred in Southern CA. The article points out that 4 telephone companies co-located on the poles over time, with no oversight from the power company, they later toppled in the wind in a fire. It is being litigated. ATT is one of the 4 firms. Also, they can be noisy with a buzzing sound reported by homeowners in the avenues in SF where one is located and in other locations. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2009/apr/23/no-oversight-of-power-poles-topped-with-heavy/
Jessica Williams March 09, 2013 at 11:33 AM
The link to the petition says the site is down. Does anyone know how to sign the petition?

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