The Federation of Greater Baton Rouge Civic Associations is pulling for an ordinance approval for 5G small cells, reported The Advocate. The exact ordinance language is still under review by city-parish officials, who hope to get in front of the East Baton Rouge Louisiana Metro Council next month.
“It’s been a lengthy process, but I think it is merited given the gravity of what we’re dealing with,” said Sheri Morris, an attorney hired by the neighborhood group to help craft the ordinance.
The current permitting rules allow placement of small cells in public rights-of-way; many of the ROWs are in front of homes, according to The Advocate. AT&T began installing small cells earlier this year, sparking outcries from residents who said they were unaware of what was coming and had received little to no notice from providers. Residents also called the small cells “unsightly” and worry the devices will lower property values and cause health issues.
Due to the outcry, the city-parish asked AT&T to stop installations of small cells as of May 2019. The Metro Council agreed to redefine the rules for the next-generation infrastructure, which will give the city-parish more authority over the location of the devices.
The proposed update also requires telecommunication companies to notify nearby landowners with mailers and posters, per The Advocate. “That’s to allow stakeholders to note their objections before the cement is in the ground, and the pole is difficult to move,” Morris said.
October 14, 2019
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