Moraga Town Council Meeting on Wednesday, March 10, 2021
MLA Discussion is Agenda Item C. Process for Small Wireless Facility Installation
Members of the public may participate by providing public comment during the meeting by joining the Zoom webinar at
telephone: Dial US: +1 669 900 6833
and enter Webinar ID: 827 1103 2890.
Use the “raise hand” feature (for those joining by phone, press *9 to “raise hand”) during the public comment period for agenda item C. Process for Small Wireless Facility Installation
The Mayor will call on people to speak by name provided or last 4 digits of phone number for dial-in attendees.
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MORAGA CONTACT LINKS - Including Town Meeting Info
Questions? - Safer5GMoraga@gmail.com
MORAGA VOTING FOR MLA
It is imperative that the Moraga Municipal Code regulating cell towers be strengthened as soon as possible! At the March 10, 2021 Town Council meeting, a Verizon Master Licensing Agreement (MLA), will be presented to the Moraga Town Council for acceptance. This agreement will serve to streamline the application process for the installation of dozens of Fifth Generation (5G) small cell wireless facilities (cell towers) in Moraga. Once this agreement is signed – indicating that the town intends to work cooperatively with Verizon --- companies known as “site developers” will begin filing dozens of applications to install 5G cell towers in Moraga. Because of the way this new technology works, there must be many towers much closer together.
After Oakland signed an MLA, the following site maps detailing new 5G cell towers, were filed by site developers for a 1 ½ square mile area. The first map is from a site developer called ExteNet Systems Inc. and the second is from a company called QualTek. Each system has over 70 towers and each only supports 5G service for one telecom carrier. We do not want this kind of uncheck unregulated proliferation of cell towers in Moraga!
Site developers install and own the cell towers – they don’t provide wireless service. After installation, they rent each tower to a telecom carrier. Importantly, their interests are directly at odds with the town’s interests. They want to put up as many towers as possible because they collect a monthly rent for each tower. They want to place their towers in locations with the least expensive installation costs – central places that are easily accessible, with existing power lines. In contrast, most towns want to have the least number of towers needed and want to have these towers in the least obtrusive places.
Moraga Municipal Code Chapter 8.144 governs the application process and deployment of these towers. Chapter 8.144 is extraordinarily weak compared to the comparable municipal codes of other cities including Orinda, Lafayette, and others. There is absolutely no public transparency in our code – the decisions to approve cell towers are made in private by the Planning Director with no public notification. There are no restrictions on where towers can be placed, there are no provisions to make sure that emissions from these towers are within FCC guidelines (neither the FCC, the carriers, nor the site developers routinely test emission levels), there are no setbacks, there are no liability insurance requirements, etc.
The Moraga Town Council Meeting scheduled for:
Wednesday March 10th at 7PM.
You can access the meeting at: Moraga, CA (civicplus.com) Hit the “download” button for the 3/10/21 agenda. You will see the zoom link there.
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