• City Manager Given Exclusive Power to Grant Cell Tower Permits

    No public input for future cell tower permits. Applies only to permits in the public right of way

    Ny Gary Bailey
    In a unanimous vote Wednesday evening the Pacific Grove City Council adopted an ordinance amending the Municipal Code to transfer authority from the Planning Commission to the City Manager to process applications for cellular communications facilities including cell towers. The ordinance also exempts from the permitting process cellular antennas strung on lines between poles as well as modifications to permitted sites provided the footprint is not materially changed.

    The City Manager under this ordinance will have exclusive power to grant or deny applications with no public input unless decisions are appealed to the City Council which requires an appellant fee exceeding one thousand dollars.

    Several members of the public including two members of the Planning Commission, Mark Chakwin and Don Murphy spoke against the ordinance and urged not rushing into the decision before fully understanding the legal, technical, and administrative ramifications.

    Commissioner Garfield observed that the FCC’s recently reduced time constraints for approval–the shot clock—meant that the Planning Commission may not be able to process applications in time, resulting in them being “deemed approved” per FCC regulations.

    Mayor Peake noted that there is an increasing body of evidence on the negative health effects of cellular radiation, but the FCC’s regulations forbid denying a cell tower permit based on health concerns.

    Assistant City Attorney Heidi Quinn reminded the council that this ordinance is strictly targeted at areas in the public right of way and is intended as a temporary ordinance in advance of revisions to the zoning code.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on December 20, 2018

    Topics: Front PG News

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