The southeast corner of Santa Anita Avenue and Lombardy Road, along with the north side of Rosalind and Shenandoah Roads, were proposed as sites for two wireless communication projects.
The San Marino City Council, however, could not find that the proposed telecommunication facilities were necessary to close a significant gap in the service provider’s coverage, or that they were the “least obtrusive” means of filling this gap as far as aesthetics. As such, the city council unanimously denied the telecommunication facilities because they did not comply with the city’s development standards.
Planning and Building Director Aldo Cervantes suggested council make conditions on the appearance in order to approve the two facilities. Crown Castle, the applicant of the wireless facilities, said the slimmer design that was recommended would not fill the coverage gap.
The skinny antenna is older and limited on what it can do. The larger antenna that was proposed is “fairly standard for our carriers now,” said Carver Chiu, the Crown Castle representative. “It’s part of the evolution of our tech nology.”
Council members and residents were not happy with the coverage map that was presented since it omitted antennas and towers, including the San Marino Unified School District’s two cell towers.
“The coverage map is very significant,” said Raymond Quan, San Marino resident and member of the San Marino Unified School District’s Cell Tower Advisory Committee. “They omit to make the coverage look worse.”
Additionally, nearly 15 letters were filed in opposition of the facilities, many of which mentioned health concerns due to radiation.
City Attorney Steve Dorsey said, “The law is clear you cannot take health considerations into account.”
SoCal Gas Company
A data collection unit for the Southern California Gas Company needs to be relocated from 1435 Circle Drive, which served as a temporary location. A proposed new location was identified at 1280 Rosalind Road, but the homeowners spoke out against it at the March 9 city council meeting.
“Besides being extremely inconvenient and unsightly, I’m worried about safety,” said a woman who identified herself as Linda, a resident of 1280 Rosalind.
She said they already have a utility pole located on the property, which people are always working and the oftentimes block her driveway.
The city is limited in its control of the approval, said City Attorney Steve Dorsey. The gas company has a right to install it somewhere, but council may have the authority to say where.
Miriam Nakamura-Quan, a San Marino resident, noted that the unit would be much more camouflaged on the northeast corner of Rosalind at the back of the Thornton Gardens.
Because the proposed unit is solar-powered, foliage would cover it significantly, according to a representative of the gas company.
The city council suggested to cut back some of that foliage to help provide the necessary coverage. They also asked the applicant to double check the area to see if there is any other location that would be workable. The item was continued to March 25.
This is just one of four data collection units that will be installed in San Marino. The city is part of a larger network from Visalia to Mexico, said Paul Simon, a Southern California Gas Company representative. The coverage is not just for San Marino, he emphasized.
Regulations also state that there must be redundancies built into the network.
“This is not something we’re thrilled about, and the cities aren’t thrilled about it,” he said.
Location is based off redundancies, topography and meter density.
Simon said they co-locate with other companies as much as possible to limit the infrast