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Proposed AT&T Tower Met with Opposition

Posted by on Jun 16th, 2016 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Photo by Charly SHELTON Kevin Mottus of the California Brain Tumor Assn. addressed the commission.

Photo by Charly SHELTON
Kevin Mottus of the California Brain Tumor Assn. addressed the commission.

By Charly SHELTON

AT&T, one of the big four cell carriers, has proposed a site for a new cell tower – Dunsmore Park. On Wednesday, the planning commission of Glendale held a public hearing to gather public comments on the issue.

According to a public notice from the city of Glendale planning commission, Jerry Ambrose of the Eukon Group on behalf of AT&T Mobility, submitted a formal application for a wireless telecommunications facilities permit, “to install and operate an unmanned wireless telecommunications facility with antennas and equipment at the southeast corner of Dunsmore Park. The proposed facility would consist of a 60-foot high support structure disguised as a pine tree with 12  eight-foot antennas, split within three sectors, four antennas per sector; 24 RRUs, and an 11-foot by 21-foot ancillary equipment/generator building within an approximate 600 square foot leased/fenced premise.”

The nearest cellphone tower site for AT&T and Verizon is about a mile away in Tujunga, said Ryan Minniear, director of Public Affairs for AT&T. This new tower would be the first in La Crescenta for any of the major cellular companies.

“The proposed site at 4700 Dunsmore Avenue was selected to fill a significant gap in existing coverage,” Minniear said, “and to provide greater coverage in the City of Glendale for our customers. The proposed site will improve customer wireless call quality and reliability, including emergency 911 calls.”

The proposed cell tower has been met with some resistance from members of the community.

In addition to Ambrose, who spoke in favor of the tower, 14 speakers from the community addressed the commission in opposition. The majority cited conerns about health, aesthetcis and placement of the tower.

Crescenta Valley High School senior Brandon Budwig was at the meeting and voiced his opposition.

“Dunsmore Park means a lot to me and my friends.

Most of us are from Dunsmore Elementary. Our parents would drive us to the park for birthday parties and for walks and now we drive up there,” he said. “We use every part of the park and so does every person who goes there whether walking their dog, playing baseball or tennis or just hanging out. It’s always filled with people. It is a beautiful park with no artificial palm trees.”

This is not the first time AT&T has proposed a cell tower be erected in the area but was rebuffed. A similar application in February 2014 was submitted and subsequently withdrawn to erect a 70-foot tower at 5041 Cloud Ave. The residents of the area spoke out against it at the Crescenta Valley Town Council Land Use Committee meeting and with the Los Angeles County Dept. of Regional Planning via letter.

At the time, Ambrose said, “The location at Cloud Avenue was one of only a few locations feasible for the tower and the county had rejected an earlier proposal for a 45-foot tower in a different location.”

As the debates over the Cloud Avenue tower ensued, it was brought up that a 2011 application by AT&T for a similar tower was denied by the LA County Board of Supervisors. The proposed tower would be 100 feet tall and be built at the intersection of Fair Oaks Avenue and Loma Alta Drive in Altadena, and was denied because it didn’t fit with the neighborhood.

With each attempt to fill the coverage gap denied thus far, AT&T is still looking for a way to install a tower and provide better service without causing a problems for the neighbors.

“In general, AT&T prioritizes sites which are the least intrusive while meeting the demands of our customers in addressing significant coverage gaps,” Minniear said. “The final determination of a particular cell site is the culmination of a collaborative process to choose a minimally invasive site that is optimal for filling coverage gaps. Working with the city and the community, [the Dunsmore Park] proposed site was considered a more suitable option than the [Cloud Avenue] one.”

All four commissioners agreed at Wednesday’s meeting that the application should be denied. They made a motion to continue the matter to the next meeting to allow time for findings for denial.

With each attempt to fill the coverage gap denied thus far, AT&T is still looking for a way to install a tower and provide better service without causing a problems for the neighbors.

“In general, AT&T prioritizes sites which are the least intrusive while meeting the demands of our customers in addressing significant coverage gaps,” Minniear said. “The final determination of a particular cell site is the culmination of a collaborative process to choose a minimally invasive site that is optimal for filling coverage gaps. Working with the city and the community, [the Dunsmore Park] proposed site was considered a more suitable option than the [Cloud Ave] one.”

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1 Response for “Proposed AT&T Tower Met with Opposition”

  1. Richard Spinner says:

    My dog and I are longtime patrons of historic Dunsmore Park. It is a beautiful park that is very popular with La Crescenta residents. The idea of a private company attempting to use recreational space for commerical enterprise is not in line with North Glendale Vision “to protect open space and to preserve and enhance neighborhood character”. We aren’t going to be building new parks in the area. It is essential to preserve the ones we do have and Dunsmore Park is a gem. Taking a significant swath of public park space for a 60 foot “faux” tree/tower and a 24/7 droning generator is not in the best interests of the community. Less intrusive options must be explored. I commend the commission decision and hope that this will also be their final decison in this matter.

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