Danville, California: The Town Council voted four to one to block a permit for an upcoming 5G wireless installation by Verizon, opening the town to possible lawsuits from the carrier. According to the FCC’s regulations, local governing bodies are not allowed to consider health risks when making decisions about 5G installations. Instead, cities and towns can only regulate cell sites based on the aesthetics and placement of the devices. Danville Mayor Robert Storer says that the federal government and its partners in Big Wireless have usurped local control of communities and that it’s time to take a stand – law suit or no law suit. -GEG
During a recent city council meeting the Mayor of Danville,
California admitted that the council had “lost control” of the 5G
rollout to the federal government and Big Wireless.
On March 6, the Danville Town Council voted four
to one to block a permit for an upcoming small cell wireless
installation by Verizon. During the meeting, Danville Mayor Robert
Storer stated that the vote was an effort to stand up to the federal
government and telecommunications companies, like Verizon.
The Danville Town Council’s decision to deny the
land use-permit for the small cell opens the town to possible lawsuits
“We’ve made a lot of difficult decisions over the years, and this
one is right up there in my top three. But that is exactly why somebody
elects us to do the right things,” Mayor Robert Storer said during the council meeting. “We’ve
lost local control and this says: ‘You know what? We are sick of this
and we’re not going to just sit here and be bulled over.’ We say no; we
play our cards out. We’ve been in lawsuits before.”
The installation of small cell sites is taking place around the
nation as the U.S. government and telecommunications companies roll out
5th Generation—or 5G—cellular technology. The
new technology is expected to herald the beginning of Smart Cities,
where driverless cars, pollution sensors, cell phones, traffic lights,
and thousands of other devices interact in what is known as “The Internet of Things”.
However, there have been a number of health and privacy concerns raised
by opponents of the rapidly advancing 5G technology expansion.
The controversial vote came after the Town Council had been inundated
with complaints and concerns from Danville residents who worry the new
small cell site and other 5G related infrastructure could have negative
health effects. The installation of small cells and other 5G
infrastructure is opposed by Danville Citizens for Responsible Growth (DCRG), a local group who has been putting pressure on the Town Council since at least October 2018.
That month the Danville Planning Commission approved a land-use
permit for the small cell site owned by Verizon. On November 2, DCRG
filed an appeal challenging the approval. The group has been battling
Danville officials since and was successful in convincing most of the
council to vote against the permit. However, despite many of Danville’s
residents expressing concerns regarding health, the council voted
against the permit because the chosen location was intrusive.
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