On August 31, 2010, our Burbank Mayor and City Council had a public hearing on Item #1: Zone Text Amendment --- that is, the interim regulations that City Council and the Planning Board had asked their staff to prepare and present to them at their June 14, 2010 Study Session.
What does this mean for you? A Conditional Use Permit or CUP is now required for any newly proposed cell towers on private property near our homes -- so if you get a notice in the mail from the city about a "wireless telecommunications facility" near your home, that means a cell tower is headed your way --read it, and mobilize your neighbors and family and friends, get a petition going, and share your concerns and opposition before and during the public hearing. Any cell towers proposed on private property near your home will go to a public hearing before the Planning Board for a decision. Any cell towers on city property will go before City Council.
City officials report they process an average of 2 wireless facility applications per month, so the odds of a cell tower being proposed near your home in your neighborhood? It's just a matter of time! Your opportunity to do something about this and shape our city's wireless ordinance to protect you and your family are happening right now, as our city will host a community meeting seeking our input and suggestions in November (TBA, a date with details will most likely be posted here), and our City Council and Planning Board will most likely finally vote on the revised comprehensive wireless ordinance by the end of this year (2010). There are still no requirements to notify parents when cell towers are proposed for locations near their schools, and no regulations addressing cell tower installations on our utility poles and sidewalks (these are considered "public rights of way"). I.e., more regulations are still needed.
At the Aug. 31, 2010 City Council meeting, Burbank ACTION residents submitted our letter of support and recommendations about the need to address our concerns about wireless facilities in public rights of way; read the "Attachment" at the bottom of this page.
AT&T's representative was there to present Public Comment about wanting to work with the city in revising its wireless ordinance.
Council Member Dave Golonski acknowledged that it's important for the City to work with the wireless companies while revising the ordinance, while also protecting the "sensitive" areas. He motioned to approve the regulations and the City Council members voted to approve.
Here is also a copy of the new Supplemental Application form required of wireless applicants.
These regulations were already approved by the Planning Board at its July 26, 2010 meeting, during which the Board members welcomed the new regulations,while also asking to make them stronger. For details of that meeting, at which members of the community (Hillside residents Kiku Lani Iwata and Michelle Safarian) gave Public Comment, including recommendations and concerns, please go here:
What You Can Do: Please write/e-mail our Honorable Mayor, City Council, City Manager, and Ms. Amanda Klotzsche in Planning, and ask them to: (1) propose strong regulations for wireless facility installations in PROW like other cities, in particular San Francisco, are doing; (2) adopt a tiered approach to protect residential and multi-residential areas from these installations as they pledged to do at their first Joint Study Session on December 8, 2009; (3) adopt strong aesthetic requirements so these facilities are screened from public view; (4) prepare a map of all the wireless facilities in the City of Burbank that is accessible for the public to view; (5) require cumulative RF radiation estimates; (6) require right-to-know courtesy notification of school parents when cell towers are proposed within 1,500 feet of our schools.