HomeCommunity NewsSan Marino Planning Commission To Approve Huntington Dr. Cell Tower

San Marino Planning Commission To Approve Huntington Dr. Cell Tower

On Wednesday, Nov. 28, the San Marino Planning Commission met at City Hall and was expected to review findings and approve the conditional use permit and design review cases for the wireless telecommunicators tower for Verizon Wireless, which will be located at 2290 Huntington Drive. The facility will replace the tower currently in operation at Valentine Elementary and Huntington Middle Schools.

With respect to the application for the conditional use permit, the Planning Commission found that the proposed facility would “not have a detrimental effect on the general welfare of the City,” according to the commission’s report. They determined that the project would be a benefit to the community and help provide high-quality mobile service. The project will be screened sufficiently and currently meets federal regulation standards.

As per two design review cases for the facility, the Planning Commission determined at the rooftop facility would be compatible with the neighborhood, noting a similar designed rooftop wireless telecommunications facility across the street. The proposed design was also noted to be the “least intrusive option to conceal the antennas.” The proposed project was found to be compatible with the existing structure, with faux cupola features planning to conceal the antennas without disturbing the proportions of the existing structure. Furthermore, the project was determined by be exempt from provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act due to the fact that the project involves new construction of a small-sized structure less than 2,500 square feet in floor area.

Eva Choi, associate planner at the Planning and Building Department of San Marino, shared with The Tribune earlier this month that the school board had asked Verizon Wireless to move the location from Huntington Middle School. She said upon completion of the new facility’s constriction, the middle school’s facility will cease to operate.

“Before the completion, they cannot stop the operation at the middle school,” said Choi.

After informing the city, Verizon explored about 20 different properties within the city to find a new location for the replacement facility, according to the staff report. After surveying the considered properties, the site at 2290 Huntington Drive was seen as the only commercial property that would match all the criteria necessary for the Verizon replacement site. The facility will involve the installation of twelve directional panel antennas inside two view screen enclosed on the roof of the building.

The city is also looking to move the cell tower that is currently located behind San Marino High School and sits atop the Raymond earthquake fault.

A relocation to the east border of the city, near the Masonic Lodge, was approved in March, 2017 by the County of Los Angeles, but currently there is no hard date for the change.

Tribune Editor Mitch Lehman contributed to this story.

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