affects Sprint's plans, since it wants to mount antennas at the same
The City Council this week voted to postpone consideration of the
antennas until Nov. 9. The council asked representatives of Cingular
and Sprint to revise their plans and also encouraged them to explore
The postponement was another victory for residents in the area,
including many who live in the Villa Versailles and Villa Balboa
condominiums. In May, opponents derailed a plan by Cingular to
install a 50-foot flagpole as a site for its cellular antenna.
This time, even with a height reduction from 50 to a maximum of 35
feet and a switch from a flagpole to streetlights for mounting the
antennas, opponents were not assuaged. They are concerned about the
antennas blocking their views, the radiation the antennas emit and
how altering the height of the light poles will affect the lighting
on the street.
"This is a classic paradox of Not In My Front Yard," said Ed
Sherman, who lives at Villa Balboa. "Put [them] somewhere in a public
building that's not in my front yard. Put it across the street on the
other side [of the property]. There's got to be other viable
alternatives. There are 700 units [at Villa Balboa] that are
taxpayers. Listen to us."
The council is considering the antennas only because the cell
phone companies want to mount them on city-owned property. In
September 2002, the council approved a policy allowing the city to
rent space on its property and facilities for cellular antennas. A
month later, it approved a law governing installation of the antennas
for both city- and privately owned commercial property. Cellular
antennas are not allowed on residential property, according to the
While some residents have fears about the radiation levels emitted
by the antennas, the council is not allowed to make its decision
based on health concerns. All that matters is that the wireless
companies and their equipment meet federal health guidelines.
Cingular and Sprint are interested in this location for their
antennas to enhance the strength of their existing signals and
network capacities in the area.