The City Council voted 3 to 0 Tuesday, with Mayor Frank Quintero and Councilman Ara Najarian absent, to retain consulting services in opposing the wireless industry’s attempt to limit local zoning authority on the positioning of cell towers.
Wireless providers have argued that as more households drop their land lines in favor of cell phones — especially bandwidth-hungry smart phones — demand for more reliable service in residential neighborhoods has risen, spurring the need to build the micro-cell sites.
City officials say they should have the ability to review applications for cellular sites in their right-of-way in order to address public concerns, but federal laws trump their authority to do so.
In response to more cities’ trying to keep them out of residential areas, the Wireless Assn., an industry organization, recently petitioned the FCC for a declaration preempting local zoning control of cell tower sites.
Cell towers have been a contentious issue in Glendale since a group of north Glendale residents successfully organized last winter against a proposed T-Mobile antenna on the 500 block of Cumberland Road.
To quell the residential protests, the City Council passed a moratorium on applications for micro cell-sites in residential areas in order to craft a citywide policy for dealing with the equipment.
The community organization, Glendale Organized Against Cell Towers, has stayed active on wireless issues in the city.
A draft of the wireless ordinance is scheduled to be presented to industry representatives and community members at the end of this month before reaching the City Council dais, officials said.