By: Henry Guo
Verizon is planning to build a new cell tower in Danville near Diablo Vista Middle School. Verizon has submitted a land use permit request to the Danville Planning Commission for approval. According to Verizon’s proposal, Verizon is planning to construct a 56-foot tall, unmanned monopole and associated equipment within a 1000 square feet area at 1455 Lawrence Road in Danville. Version will lease the property for 10 years, and pay owner $30,000 per year for use of this property.
A public hearing was held by the Danville Planning Commission in downtown Danville on July 28, 2015. Seven planning commissioners, three technicians/staff members from Complete Wireless Consulting hired by Verizon, and 50-60 residents from nearby neighborhoods attended the hearing. An engineer hired by Verizon explained this proposal and answered questions from the planning commissioners. Then, local residents spoke up in front of the Verizon engineer and the planning commissioners, and they were all opposed to this proposal. Key arguments from the residents included:
- Health concerns: The tower is very close to residential area, and the power of the antenna is about 11600 watts. Therefore, local residents are very concerned about microwave radiation emitted from this tower.
- Property value: Based on a report from a real estate institute, 87% potential buyers will not buy a property near cellphone tower. Property value would decline if the tower were built.
- Alternative location: There is an existing cell tower used by AT&T in a non-residential area; Verizon can consider this location for its new tower.
- Cell phone signal: Verizon signal in that area is very strong, so there is no need to build a new tower. The new tower with such huge power would benefit residents in San Ramon and Dublin more than residents in Danville.
The public hearing lasted 3 hours, and Verizon’s proposal was not approved by planning commissioners right away. In the end, Verizon was asked to modify this proposal.