We lost and I am preparing an appeal to the City Council. The Planning Commission's decision held that a tree pole instead of the monopole is to be installed and that Cingular is not to cut any of the adjacent trees without permission from the City.
The Commission did not understand that the plans indicate that the communications tower will be about 20 feet from the base of a large tree and a significant amount of canopy will have to cut away to install any monopole or tree pole. There are two other large trees in the near vicinity and the branchs of the three trees grow together to form nice canopy. A larger amount of tree or trees will have to be cleared for the tree pole because it has to look just like a tree and therefore will cover much more area than the original monopole. The tree pole will be made out of steel and will protrude through the deciduous trees. It will look really weird, especially in winter when the deciduous trees loose their leaves.
The Commisssion did not understand that monopoles are to be allowed only when the telecommunications company has exhausted all other possible alternatives. Cingular has not made a good faith effort to exhaust other options. Example #1--I brought up the issue that Cingular should use the monopole that currently exists on Shinn St on the other side of Alameda Creek or some other facility that could be constructed in the industrial area on that side of the Creek. RESPONSE BY CINGULAR--The monopole on Shinn St. belongs to another company. And signals cannot be sent from that location because the signal will reflect off of the lakes causing it to deteriorate and be mitigated when it gets to the trees. This argument makes no sense because even if a signal is mitigated by a lake, only a poriton of the radio waves hit the lake. Radio waves are like light waves, they go in all directions. If you have a light on the opposite side of a lake and you look at it, you will see the light even though part of the light does reflect off of the lake.
Example #2---I suggested that a roof top mount on one of the unused buildings in niles be used. RESPONSE BY CINGULAR--It would be too far. To beef up the signal so it would go farther would deteriorate the network. He said that signals from different towers do not overlap. This argument also makes no sense. They do overlap. When user moves away from one tower the signal gradually gets weaker. But as the person moves into a new area the weaker signal is overlapped by a new signal and a central communications facility switches the signal to the now closer tower in the new area. If they did not overlap there would certainly be gaps and dropped calls. There is no reason why a slightly stronger signal cannot be sent from a roof top or a facade mount from one of the unused buildings in Niles. They are easy to hide, not like a 55' monopole. It is only a mile away from the Rancho Arroyo and School St neighborhoods. Even if there was a signal in these neighborhoods that was interfered with, it would not be an issue because Cingular has already indicated that the signal in the neighborhoods are insufficient for proper coverage.
INCONSISTENCIES IN CINGULAR'S TESTIMONY:
1. Jason Trollope stated that Cingular is interested in co-locating on other poles. But he stated that he did not know anything about Cingular's appliction to co-locate on a proposed monopole at the Papillion restaurant on Mission Blvd. This Pole will be owed by Sprint and is slightly under a mile from the propose pole next to Shinn Pond----My positon is that Cingular can co-locate on this pole and therfore not need a pole next to Shinn Pond.
2. Jason Trollope stated that a signal coming from the Shinn St side of Alameda Creek towards Rancho Arroyo Park would be compromised by Shinn Pond. Yet he stated that a primary reason for the Pole by Shinn Pond woud be for the safety of People along Alameda Creek. Yet the signal will have to cross either Shinn Pond or Quarry Lakes to get to the Creek. So if the signal is compromised coming towrds Niles over the lakes, why is it not compromised going away from Niles back across the sames lakes? In another portion of his testimony, Jason Trollope stated that a second carrier, on the Pole next to Shinn Pond, needed to be high enough to go past Quarry Lakes. This second carrier would be lower down the pole from Cingular's antenni. Therefore if a competing carrier can have a useable signal going over the lakes, then why can't Cingular.
3. Jason Trollope stated that Cingular had no intention of cutting any of the trees, however the monopole or the tree pole cannot be installed without cutting one or more of the trees.
4. Jason Trollope stated that they had exhausted all other possible options. However, he had not contacted other carriers to determine if Cingular could co-locate and therby avoid building another monopole. Carolyn Sutherland testified that she has T Mobile with excellent reception. Jason Trollope did not know where the T Mobile tower is located. He did not know how high a building would have to be for a roof top antenna to insure adequate coverage. So how could he have possibly checked out all the other options?
I also told the Commission that, as required by Fremont City Ordinances, a mock facility be constructed on the construction site before any final authoization be granted. The Commission overruled my demand. I have subsequently talked to Dominick Dutra, a Fremont Council Person. He agrees with me that the Commission's decision was premature, a mock facility should have been constructed first, so people can see how it looks. So I should win the appeal on this issue. However, hopefully, we won't get that far.
In my appeal, I will continue to argue that a monopole or tree tower doesn't belong in the middle of five beautiful park areas, Shinn Pond, Rancho Arroyo park, Alameda Creek, Quarry Lakes and Niles Community Park.
These are some of the issues I am working on.
It would be a great help if a large number of people would come to speak to the City Council. Even if the speaker only talked for 20 seconds it would help to have a lot of people there. I submitted a petition with 108 names, but this is not the same as people speaking face to face to the Council. If anyone is interested, have them contact me and we can coordinate who says what.