On Monday, sixteen “anti-5G” residents spoke out at a Western Springs Village (IL) meeting against Verizon Wireless’ small cell proposals. The Chicago Tribune reported that Verizon is interested in installing two small cells in the village.
“My bedroom window [would be] about 40 feet from a cell tower. I am livid; this is not acceptable,” said resident Laura Swalec. “Such antennas should be in commercial areas…not close to homes and schools.”
Although Verizon did not submit a formal application, Western Springs Village President Alice Gallagher wrote in a newsletter that “it is the first step in the permit application process for these two sites.” Western Springs Community Development Director Martin Scott added that the village’s attorney sent a letter to Verizon reminding company representatives they had pledged to refrain from installing 5G equipment until after the COVID-19 crisis.
Gallagher communicated with attendees during the meeting that the village “cannot legally deny the installation of 5G cell towers based on any other grounds” outside of aesthetics; health and property value concerns are not factors for negotiation. “The board and staff are as frustrated and infuriated by this usurpation of authority as are the residents who voiced their concerns on the matter during [Monday’s] board meeting, and are doing all we legally can to regain some of that authority,” she added.
One course of legal action the board is taking against 5G is supporting House Bill 5815, known as the “Protect Me From 5G Act.” According to the Chicago Tribune, the bill asserts that a wireless provider may be required to supply additional information when seeking a permit to co-locate small wireless facilities, including a written affidavit signed by an RF engineer; a written report that analyzes acoustic levels for the small wireless facility and all associated equipment; information showing the small wireless facility has received any required review by the FCC under the National Environmental Policy Act and more.
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