“We don’t expect to use the entire one year we are requesting,” said Christina Sansone, general counsel for the city’s Public Works Department. “But by asking for the one year, the maximum amount of time allowed, we are hoping the council will grant that so we can move forward with gathering input for the ordinance.”
The most active force on the issue has been Glendale Organized Against Cell Towers, a group of mostly north Glendale residents that formed last winter to protest the proposed T-Mobile micro-cell site on the 500 block of Cumberland Road. They used lawn signs, T-shirts, petitions and courted the City Council into their camp.
By February, T-Mobile withdrew its proposal.
A draft ordinance could be ready for the council by the end of October, according to a city report. In that time, city officials plan to host community meetings and speak with cell-phone service providers, Sansone said.
A major part of the ordinance is expected to deal with how and where the micro-cell sites can be built in residential neighborhoods, where a growing number of residents either bemoan the aesthetic intrusion or fear potential health effects from the broadcast waves.
Federal law trumps local regulations on the ability of cities to deny antenna applications, but there is leeway in requiring how and where they are built.
“We feel it’s important to let everybody have an opportunity to make some comments to voice their opinions or concerns, so that we have an adequate opportunity and an adequate time to take all the comments under consideration,” Sansone said.
Elise Kalfayan, a spokeswoman for Glendale Organized Against Cell Towers, said the extra time was needed to ensure adequate community participation.