By Charly SHELTON
AT&T proposed a new cell service tower in June to be installed in Dunsmore Park. Jerry Ambrose of the Eukon Group, on behalf of AT&T Mobility, submitted the application for a Wireless Telecommunication Facility permit to install 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,” in the southeast corner of Dunsmore Park, by the grass hill and baseball field, according to the application. It was scheduled for a City of Glendale Planning Commission public hearing on June 15, 2016. The public turned out to voice its opposition to the tower, leading to a discussion among the commission members and an eventual vote of denial at the following meeting on July 20.
At the very next meeting, on Aug. 17, it was announced that the applicant, Ambrose, had filed for an appeal with the Glendale City Council, scheduled to be heard at its meeting on Nov. 8 – Election Day.
“I’m disappointed AT&T isn’t willing to find a location that does not take away from our limited park space,” said Sharon Weisman, concerned resident who is against the proposed installation. “One need only watch the Glendale Planning Commission meeting of June 15, 2016 to know a cellphone tower and associated equipment does not belong in Dunsmore Park. I hope Mayor Devine and the council members protect our neighborhood park.”
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, in an interview with CV Weekly in June.
“The proposed site at 4700 Dunsmore Ave. 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 9-1-1 calls.”
The application was denied by the Planning Commission in July, citing issues of community compatibility in their official motion. “The proposed 60-foot tall mono pine antenna and equipment has not been designed to achieve community compatibility because it is located in a heavily used area of the park and would impede recreational uses, take away open space, and possibly impact protected trees.”
The commission’s motion further suggested that another site may be a better alternative, as Dunsmore Park is not a feasible location.
“An alternative site location may increase community compatibility. However, the applicant stated that alternative site locations were investigated before selecting the proposed site (to fill a gap in coverage within the network of other providers), but were not viable.”
The decision now goes before the Glendale City Council as the most recent in a long line of attempts by AT&T to get a cell tower in the
area. Each potential site it has identified over the last five years
has met the same conclusion. A similar application to erect a 70-foot tower at 5041 Cloud Ave. in February 2014 was submitted and subsequently withdrawn. 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 L.A. County Board of Supervisors. The proposed tower would be 100 feet tall and 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.
For more information on the history of the AT&T cell tower issue, search AT&T on www.cvweekly.com, and for information on the upcoming Glendale City Council meeting, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. when the public can voice its
opinion in favor of or opposition to the appeal, visit glendaleca.gov/government/city-council.