The Willits News

Concerned about new cell tower

- — Marcia Miller, Laytonvill­e

To the Editor: Re: UM_2020-0004 The Mendocino County Planning Commission will at their next public hearing Thursday, March 18 decide if they will follow through with their decision from Feb. 18 to deny this wireless communicat­ion facility at Spyrock Road in Laytonvill­e. It would include raising the 50ft. tall monopine tower by 20 ft., placing a 6ft. diameter microwave dish on top, adding a generator, a 190 gallon fuel storage tank, a cabinet, 9 new antennas, 18 RRU’s, GPS units, a 40 ft. concrete pad, other equipment, and colocating FirstNet Network elements: 4G LTE, Core, and Radio Access Network (RAN) devices. FirstNet includes military applicatio­ns, 5G, and Internet of Things (IoT). It would be installed under the guise of “necessary for emergency services.”

Read the staff report UM_ 2020- 0004 (Crown Castle) and decide if this project is what you want in your neighborho­od. Do you want 24/7 surveillan­ce, have every move including meta and granular data tracked, harvested and sold, be experiment­ed on, and become a target of the latest high powered, low latency, weaponized communicat­ions system? There have been no safety studies done by the industry to prove this technology is safe.

The Telecommun­ications Act of 1996 prohibits denial of towers on the basis of radio frequency emissions if they fall below the standards determined by them. Knowing that children are especially vulnerable do you agree to have this 70 ft. tall tower within 1,600 ft. from the Spyrock Elementary School? The children play at the playground and in the garden (they plant, harvest and eat the plants they grow). 5G reaches 6.2 miles.

Since 1999 the telecom industry wanted to replace the then 20ft. tower with a 75 ft. tower. Due to overwhelmi­ng community opposition this did not happen until 2009 where a 50 ft. tower was approved. Twice locals were told that the height of the tower would not change. The County’s Guidelines do not allow a tower that is taller than 37 ft. for that site.

The public hearing starts March 18 at 9 a.m. (see agenda when this project will be discussed) and is a virtual hearing. To voice your opinion send a letter with subject: Public Comment UM_ 2020- 0004 (Crown Castle) to Mendocino County Planning Commission at 860 N. Bush

St. Ukiah, CA 95482. You can also send an e-mail no later than 5 p.m. on March 17 (include the same subject) to both addresses pbs@mendocinoc­ounty.org and pbscommiss­ions@mendocinoc­ounty.org

Please send an email to BOTH addresses, using the case number in the email: Re: UM_ 20200004

Look for agenda, staff report, and public comments at https://www. mendocinoc­ounty.org/ government/planningbu­ilding-services/meeting-agendas/planningco­mmission.

In addition, you can speak to the Commission­ers via phone or zoom for 3 minutes during public comment time for this project by informing the Planning & Building Services Department no later than 7am the day of the hearing and filling out the request at https://www. mendocinoc­ounty.org/ government/planningbu­ilding-services/meeting-agendas.

The hearing is available for viewing at https:// www.youtube.com/ channel/UCSYcX7uSx­rGyRh20Jtu­wFg

If you have no time to study the document you might want to focus on the issue of the height increase; the location next to the school and visible from the school; concerns relating to aesthetics, privacy, community needs, droughts and wildfires in a very high fire hazard zone; need for wireless devices when satellites like Starlink, other providers and other sites offer connectivi­ty; considerat­ions in regards to the County’s Precaution­ary Principle https:// www.mendocinoc­ounty. org/home/showpublis­heddocumen­t?id=1926 or the County’s Wireless Guidelines https:// www.mendocinoc­ounty. org/home/showpublis­hed document?id=10439

The cell phone company admitted in the hearing of February 18 this new height increase will bring in no new customers, nor will it improve reception for existing customers.

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