AT&T invites neighbors to discuss cell tower

LEFT: AT&T's contractor provided this image to the City of West Sacramento, showing how the proposed wireless communications tower would look, in disguise as a tree. The image was published in the Jan. 5, 2011, News-Ledger.

News-LedgerMarch 30, 2011

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

AT&T has invited some Southport residents to a community meeting to “discuss the proposed wireless facility” which is “required to address the growing need in this West Sacramento community for wireless voice, data and broadband coverage and capacity.” The project – which needs city approval – is planned for city land at the southeast corner of Southport Parkway and Marshall Road.

   What the invitation does not say is that the planned “wireless facility” is a 60-foot cell phone tower in the shape of a eucalyptus tree. There’s no mention of a tower, or its height, or its design.

The company doesn’t have to hold a community meeting as part of its effort to get a conditional use permit from the City of West Sacramento, said David Tilley, a senior planner for the City of West Sacramento.

But “I believe the notice could have been a little more descriptive,” Tilley commented. Since the March 22 notice went out, Tilley said he has heard from several residents concerned about the planned cell phone tower.

“Just so far, I’ve heard from four people,” Tilley told the News-Ledger Monday. “Their opinions were not favorable.”

The residents cited aesthetic concerns as well as worries about the alleged health effects of electromagnetic radiation from the tower. But Tilley said federal law prohibits the city from using radiation concerns as a basis of turning down the permit.

AT&T’s community meeting is planned for 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5, at the Bridgeway Lakes Boathouse Facility, 3650 Southport Parkway.

AT&T didn’t immediately return a phone call requesting comment.

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