UPDATE City planning officials in Woodland, CA approved a concealed AT&T water tank by a unanimous 7 – 0 teleconference vote last week.
The proposed 75-foot structure has been a topic of contention among residents concerned about the perceived health risks associated with 5G. City planners received more than 15 written letters and an equal number of phone messages from residents in April objecting to the tower. According to The Daily Democrat, residents expressly cited concerns about the tower emitting, “too much radiation, weakening immune systems in a time of the pandemic, or lower the property values of nearby homeowners.”
“To be concerned that 5G is somehow driving the COVID-19 epidemic is just wrong,” said Dr. Jonathan Samet, Dean of the Colorado School of Public Health, who chaired a World Health Organization committee that researched cell phone radiation and cancer. “I just don’t find any plausible way to link them.”
Research and analysis by the National Cancer Institute indicate there is no evidence of an increase in brain tumors caused by cell phones, “even with daily wireless use among a vast majority of adults,” said Samet.
Commissioners reportedly made their decision to approve the tower based on aesthetics and zoning, allowing emission guidelines to fall under FCC regulations. Woodland’s Wireless Communications Facility ordinance states: “towers located in high visibility locations shall incorporate ‘stealth’ design techniques to camouflage the tower to the maximum extent feasible as art/sculpture, clock tower, flag pole, tree or any other appropriate and compatible visual form.”
As approved, the disguised tower has the capacity to house 12 antennas for multiple carriers. The exterior design will incorporate art fabricated by the city and YoloArts, a local community arts initiative. Commissioner Steve Harris said a water tank design offered a “great canvas for public art,” reported The Daily Democrat.
Tower construction is expected to be complete by year-end.
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