Burbank ACTION (Against Cell Towers In Our Neighborhood) was formed by several Burbank hillside residents who oppose a proposed T-Mobile cell tower and multiple antenna base station proposed for Burbank Water & Power property — located right next to the baseball field at our beautiful Brace Canyon recreational park, and right next to our R-1 residential homes, two schools (Horace Mann daycare, and St. Francis Xavier school) and a church (St. Francis).
We already tested our T-Mobile phones around this area and got very good cell phone coverage, so we don’t need unnecessary cell towers in our area. In fact, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in its decisions has supported denials of proposed cell towers when providers failed to show a significant gap in coverage. We’ve made this point in documents submitted and statements made at public hearings with our Planning Board and City Council, underlining the fact that local governments can control how they regulate the siting (placement) of cell towers based not just on aesthetics, but can also deny them if they’re unnecessary.
As a result of Burbank resident concerns about unnecessary cell tower installations proposed near our homes, schools and parks, (and mirroring the concerns of residents in the neighboring City of Glendale who felt the same way), Burbank began the process of updating its wireless facility ordinance in November of 2009. Due to resident concerns in Glendale, its Mayor and City Council in 2010 adopted one of the toughest and strongest wireless facility ordinances in the state.
In June 2011, the City of Burbank proposed an updated wireless facility ordinance that was a big improvement from the previous outdated one the city had, but it was still not as strong as Glendale’s — it had not adopted Burbank ACTION resident’s recommendations to keep cell towers away from our public rights of way in residential areas, and away from private schools and churches and parks in residential areas as well.
Kudos go to Planning Board Member Vahe Hovanessian for opposing the proposed ordinance update because he thought it could be much stronger. At the subsequent August 30, 2011 City Council public hearing, Council Members Dr. David Gordon and Emily Gabel-Luddy also raised their problems with the proposed wireless facility ordinance. However, it was adopted with a vote of 3-2, with the approval votes cast by Mayor Jess Talamantes, and Council Members Gary Bric and Dave Golonski.
Unfortunately, wireless smart meters create additional concerns and dangers to residents now. It’s hard enough work trying to keep cell towers out of our neighborhood. Now Burbank Water & Power wants to install mini-cell towers (smart meters) on our homes — but there is no ordinance allowing residents to go before the planning board or City Council to contest or appeal their installation at each of our homes like with proposed wireless facilities.
We don’t need more unnecessary man-made chronic radiation exposure in our lives. Especially when the World Health Organization has recently classified non-ionizing radiation emitted from wireless devices as a Class 2B carcinogen — on par with DDT and leaded gasoline. Would you want to spray those toxins on your homes and street 24 hours a day every day of the year? What kind of world are we creating for our children and ourselves? Certainly not a green, clean or healthy one if we go that route.
To support Burbank ACTION’s efforts, also visit our companion website at www.BurbankACTION.com. We want to promote and create a healthy world for our children, loved ones, families, friends, neighbors and community. You can also visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Also feel free to e-mail us at: BurbankAction@aol.com
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Thanks for taking action!