Last week, the Napa, CA City Council abandoned plans to include an advisory measure on small cells in the March 2020 ballot, reported Government Technology. Council members agreed that timing was too tight to write and place a measure by the December 6 deadline for the March ballot.
According to Vice Mayor Scott Sedgley, “March is unreasonable, and it might not prove to be what we’re looking for.”
City Manager Steve Potter added that a ballot measure would not seek to outlaw new antennas or defy federal regulations limiting local governments’ oversight of telecommunications equipment, per Government Technology.
Earlier this month, council members approved a pilot project, allowing Verizon Wireless to install 28 small cells along various streets in Napa. Council members worked with Verizon to negotiate a 15-day extension on review periods and were able to omit four small cell sites near schools from the initial proposal.
The service via the small cells won’t begin until after August 15, 2020, and the city will not accept applications for other transmitters until radio emissions are checked to ensure they fall within the federal limits. This decision was met with opposition by residents in the audience, citing increased health risks, including cancer, due to radio emissions.
Napa has joined other California cities in supporting House Resolution 530. The bill seeks to reverse FCC rulings and give local governments a greater voice regarding small cell rollout.
November 26, 2019
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