Update our telecommunications policy

Update our telecommunications policy


I’ve been following Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antenna (CPMRAs, aka Small Cells), and Napa City Council’s approach to this new technology, along the way raising my concerns as well as my ideas for alternative approaches to councilmembers and city staff.

The City Council has negotiated with Verizon, and narrowly voted to approve another set of permits requested by the phone company in spite of serious concerns raised by Councilmembers Alessio, Gentry and Sedgley; Sedgley ended up voting in favor of the permits (“Napa council narrowly approves Verizon cell transmitter plan over skeptics’ protests,” Nov. 6, 2019).

However, since approving its initial contract with Verizon in December 2017, the council has not yet taken one essential step: updating the City of Napa’s telecommunications ordinance.

An updated telecommunications ordinance is a proactive — and viable — way for our city to assert its local values, preferences and needs in a unified and integrated manner, rather than piecemeal responses and action steps. A more current ordinance is needed in order to balance residents’ concerns and needs with the incipient wave of CPRMAs/Small Cells that has come to our city and is likely to gain significant momentum.

Council has joined other cities and voiced support of local control on the subject of CPMRAs/Small Cells by supporting HR 530. That’s great, but it’s not enough.

It’s not too late for our council to act on this. If you agree, please call or email Mayor Techel and Councilmembers Alessio, Gentry, Luros and Sedgley.

Marla Tofle


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