Neighbors Successfully Appeal Planning Commission Approval to Board of Supervisors
Residents of the neighborhood near Ocean Avenue and the entrance to City College successfully appealed a unanimous Planning Commission approval of 3 antennas for a mixed-use retail and apartment building which already had 3 antennas from another wireless carrier dating back to 1997 (hence the building was a 'Preference 2' co-location site under the City's WTS Guidelines). Neighbors convincingly testified that there was already adequate cellular service from wireless companies in the area, including the carrier that sought approval for the new antennas.
A Field Test conducted by residents who programmed a cellular phone into Field Debug Mode demonstrated that in the area where the carrier claimed it only had 'marginal' coverage (defined by the carrier's representative as a signal strength between -95 dBm and -85 dBm), signal strength from the carrier was in fact consistently stronger (-85 dBm to -58 dBm). Additionally, neighbors submitted over 300 signatures and letters in opposition to the antenna facility from nearby residents and argued that the addition of 3 more antennas at this location would result in an 'antenna farm,' which is expressly discouraged by Section 11(7)(b)(v) of the City's WTS Guidelines. Finally, neighbors argued that this industrial/commercial facility was out of character with their predominantly residential neighborhood and not in keeping with the City's recent $35 million investment to revitalize the Ocean Avenue corridor.
Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval, in whose district the proposed site is located, provided strong leadership on the issue and led his constituents to an 8-2 victory at the Board of Supervisors hearing, with only Supervisors Hall and Dufty voting against the neighbors. (Supervisor McGoldrick was on vacation and did not vote).