La Crescenta off county’s cell tower list
Town council and supervisor side with residents concerned over planned site.
Officials will have to ditch plans to construct a cell tower in a La Crescenta neighborhood after dozens of neighbors voiced opposition, citing concerns about radio frequency emissions as well as a lack of public outreach.
The tower was to be placed at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff ’s Station as part of the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System, which aims to connect f irst responders throughout L. A. County during emergencies. It was one of more than 80 towers proposed throughout the county that would allow police and fire agencies to communicate when responding to an earthquake, fire or terrorist attack.
On Friday, however, a day after the Crescenta Valley Town Council voted 7 to 1 to oppose the tower, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich sent a letter requesting that project officials eliminate the site from their plans and “ensure that the site is returned to its original state if any work had been initiated.”
The letter noted that alternatives have been offered for future consideration.
At the meeting Thursday, residents and council members complained about the lack of community outreach by project overseers.
The project has been in the works since 2009, but residents said they just heard about it in recent months, leaving council members feeling rushed to make a decision by the Sept. 30 funding deadline.
“When you’re in a rush to get something through, generally, if it sounds like a good deal, it’s not a good deal,” Councilman Charles Beatty said. “For those reasons, I’m out.”
Project officials said the 45- foot tower, which initially was proposed at 70 feet tall, would emit 1,000 times fewer radio emissions at ground level than the standard set by the Federal Communications Commission.
But neighbors remained concerned about the potential health effects for those who live nearby. Of the 41 people who spoke or submitted comments at Thursday’s meeting, just one voiced support for the proposal.
“People around the antenna are afraid … and I think that’s your fault,” Councilman Mike Claessens told the project representatives.
La Crescenta resident Wendy English said her family was emotionally attached to their home, which her father- in- law built.
“It’s our forever home,” English said. “I don’t want to spend forever under the tower, and I don’t want my children to spend forever under the tower.”