Uploading letter / info from Karen/Sean West Price Hill
email from Sean to City:
Attached you'll find a letter with its enclosures penned by WPHCC President Karen Ball. It has come to our attention that Verizon has applied for at least 30 permits for the placement of 5G Small Cell Towers distributed throughout our neighborhood.
WPHCC Vice President
Ok folks here is where everyone can ask questions and get collective answers
Share by Mary Ray, Kennedy Heights Community Council:
I am writing to you in response to the recent NCAC conversation about 5G cell tower installation throughout Cincinnati, and the subsequent email containing a motion by City Council. I am also taking this opportunity to share my thoughts about Community Engagement. I am including our Kennedy Heights leadership, our Planner, one of the Council Members on the Motion, and our City Manager.
Around May 2020, Kennedy Heights residents began to receive postcards from Verizon telling them that their property was within 250 feet of a proposed 5g tower. I reached out to the Homebase network of CDC's, asking if any neighborhoods had been through this installation, and received several responses with pictures of the towers and assurance that the process was fairly painless.
The Kennedy Heights Community Council and Development Corp Boards had several questions regarding the locations, density, timeframe, benefits, etc., so we reached out to Verizon and were assigned to Michael Bondy, Manager of Business Development/Strategic Planning, located in Ohio. We had an initial conference call with our Boards and several people from Verizon, they were very interested in our concerns and very transparent about the process. There were to be about 30 towers in KH, neighbors would be notified by mail (by Verizon) if a tower was planned near their property, then permits would be submitted to the City, and Verizon would copy us on the permit applications. From notification to installation could be up to a year. They also sent us the attached FAQ literature to distribute.
We received the first 5 permit applications for towers to be installed in the "tree lawn" right of way of 5 residential properties. Residents did request that the towers be located as far away from their driveway as possible. Again, Mr. Bondy was interested in our feedback about location. At this point, COVID lockdowns were put in place, and all progress was halted.
Around February 2021, residents again began to get postcards about 5g tower installation. We reached back out to Mr. Bondy, and he was able to give us the exact number of planned towers, and once again assured us that we would get the permit applications as they were sent to the City, and that the process would take about a year. We reported at our next Community Council meeting the following: Verizon is installing approximately 25 5g towers to serve Kennedy Heights. These towers will look like a normal telephone pole. You will receive a postcard (from Verizon) if your home is within 250 feet of a proposed tower. If you call the City Permit Department when you receive the postcard, they will NOT have a permit request yet. From notification to installation can be up to one year. Verizon has promised to send KHCC each permit application, and we will share those with the neighbors affected as we receive them.
We did reach out to Permits, and they said they simply cannot inform KH of every permit application they receive. Permits did state that the towers have to meet zoning regulations and cannot interfere with street trees, etc. Residents are welcome to call them if they have questions about a specific permit application. (At no point did anyone at the City tell us there was "nothing they could do"). They did seem surprised that we were having open and productive dialogue with Verizon. And we are still frustrated that there is no requirement to copy Community Councils and CDC's on the notifications sent to property owners.
This is an interesting test case for Community Engagement. The City requires that Verizon inform residents of a proposed tower, and our (KH) engagement has been directly with Verizon, who in my opinion could not be more helpful, professional and transparent. They have leeway to move the towers, and I think they would work with us if a proposed tower was going to impede future development efforts. I therefore do not understand the reason for, and intent of, the motion from City Council. Our Zoning Code is protecting us, and we are getting the required notification of PROPOSED towers WELL BEFORE the permits are even submitted, and we can request modifications to the proposed permits. In my opinion, this is a case where the process we have is working, and the 5g rollout appears to be going well, and the City could be marketing this as a win, so where did this motion come from?
I do sense the frustration that Community Councils and Development Corps are feeling. Every day there are permit applications, zoning variances, liquor licenses, budget decisions, property transfers, lawsuits, evictions, foreclosures, arrests, and a zillion other transactions that affect our neighborhoods, but we don't have a simple dashboard where we can see these things. Kennedy Heights is a small, residential neighborhood and our Community Council and CDC are staffed by volunteers and 0.5 paid staff. It is overwhelming to try to keep AHEAD of what is happening and keep driving things in the direction of our Community Plan. Our volunteers are dedicated, hard working and in tune with the values important to Kennedy Heights, I'm not sure every neighborhood is as lucky as we are. And, we appreciate the hard work and dedication of the City staff that we work with every day, and the opportunities afforded to us.
My background is in Operations Management, so my suggestion would be that we map out transactions between City and Neighborhood with flowcharts and see where processes are redundant, inefficient or unnecessary. From our NCAC meetings, I am sure we could provide dozens of examples of our frustrations - what is too complicated, where transparency is needed, where the bottlenecks are, etc. If the City truly wants to depend on Community Councils and CDC's to carry out the City's vision, we need to streamline a lot of things, and provide education and resources to the neighborhoods so we can be helpful and not combative, as appears to be the case here with 5g.
I just want to take the opportunity to thank you, Elizabeth and Invest in Neighborhoods, for your support, encouragement, advocacy, coaching and for listening to a lot of collective frustration and complaining. I am available and happy to talk about the 5g issues, share our contact information at Verizon, or whatever else you think would be helpful, and to continue to help us improve Community Engagement in development projects and all of our interactions with the City.
Additional info From Elissa Pogue from Mt Washington:
City of Cincinnati - File #: 202101145
MOTION, submitted by Councilmember Goodin, Vice Mayor Smitherman, Councilmember Sundermann, Kearney, and Keating, New 5G mobile communications technology has necessitated the deployment of thousands of small cell system towers throughout the United States. Such towers are now being deployed in Cincinnati neighborhoods. Accordingly, WE MOVE that the Administration advise Council regarding all potential methods of regulating 5G small cell system towers under the City’s Municipal Code, Administrative Code and Zoning Code.
Make a public comment for the next City of Cincinnati council meeting by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ohio HB 478 eliminated municipal control over 5G and small cell deployment: https://ehtrust.org/state-5g-bills-stripping-away-local-protections-for-liability-from-harm/
5G/4G Small Cells in Ohio: Insurance Issues, Health and Environmental Impacts https://ehtrust.org/5g-4g-small-cells-in-ohio-insurance-issues-health-and-environmental-impacts/
See chart for action taken by U.S. cities on 5G and cell tower deployment and https://ehtrust.org/us-cities-lawsuit-against-the-fcc-on-5g/ for 5G lawsuits filed against the FCC by U.S. cities
USA small cell ordinances: https://ehtrust.org/usa-city-ordinances-to-limit-and-control-wireless-facilities-small-cells-in-rights-of-ways/
Petition - "Stop 5G in Ohio Until Independent Studies Show It's Safe" https://www.change.org/p/ohio-federal-and-state-lawmakers-stop-5g-deployment-in-ohio-until-independent-studies-prove-it-s-safe
High Speed Internet Access Should be Made Safe for Ohio Students and Communities https://ohiostatehousenews.com/2020/09/high-speed-internet-access-should-be-made-safe-for-ohio-students-and-communities/
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