Napa County telecom ordinance urgently needed

Napa County telecom ordinance urgently needed

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We wanted to alert all Napa County residents to the danger of the proliferation of the 60-foot “monopine” eyesore cell towers being permitted throughout our beautiful county in rural residential and AG preserve land.

A local telecom company recently proposed to erect five of these 60-foot siren/cell towers, (camouflaged as skinny “monopine” trees), in the city of Calistoga at their own expense. They were presented as being a gift to the city to mount fire-watch alarm sirens. Calistoga city residents soundly rejected the proposal — a 45-foot telephone pole is standard for mounting a siren; 60-foot siren/cell towers were not wanted.

The company ignored the wishes of local residents by locating one of the rejected 60’ monopine structures a matter of mere feet outside city limits and into the county -- on rural residential/AG Preserve land. Napa County gave them the permit to do so, along with permitting eight other of these structures over the past year. Unfortunately, the county has no Telecom Ordinance in place to mitigate these structures. They claim their hands are tied by the FCC: "our ability to influence the Federal law is limited. I suspect Federal law will not change unless citizens across the country make their voices heard."

A county telecom ordinance absolutely must be adopted in our beautiful valley before any county telecommunication proposals are considered and before any related telecommunication permits are approved. We need common sense ordinances drafted -- like prohibiting towers in residential and agricultural preserve county areas; requiring scientific data that a serious and significant gap in service exists prior to permitting towers or additional microcells; requiring easements of at least 1 foot for each foot of height, limiting height; requiring collocation or leverage of infrastructure and setbacks and security.

We ask all citizens across the county now: make your voices heard. Contact your county supervisors and federal representatives to develop and implement common sense telecom ordinances before it is too late.

Michele and Hubert Verdeille

Calistoga

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