City of Tustin Caves to Legal Pressure and Allows Cell Tower Application
See post below for details



T-Mobile and the City of Tustin planned to erect a 65 foot cell phone tower at the back end of the park near the gate to Peters Canyon Elementary school. The proposal received approval from the Tustin Zoning Commission despite vigorous opposition at the public meeting on Wednesday, October 20th. Due in large part to additional opposition raised by local residents in the days following this meeting, and at the request of Tustin City Council Member Doug Davert, the Zoning Commission decision was vacated on October 27th, and a public hearing before the Planning Commission was set for December 14, 2010, to allow for additional public input.

T-Mobile has redesigned the proposed installation to look like 3, 45' tall flag poles located in the parking area of the park. While this is a better design, it will only accommodate their equipment and, if another carrier wants to place an installation in the park additional towers must be built.


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Let them know you are not happy about this!


Write an email to Robert Dotson the President of T-Mobile or Jim Ailing the COO.

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Our Position

We are not opposed to the use of cell phones and wireless technology, and acknowledge that cell phone coverage in the Peters Canyon area of Tustin Ranch is sub-standard. However, we feel that Cedar Grove Park is no place for a cell tower due to its historic significance, scenic beauty, and close proximity to Peters Canyon Elementary and Pioneer Middle Schools. We also feel that a tower at this location will have a negative impact on property values of homes nearby. Once it is done, it cannot be undone.

Desired Goal

Our goal is to convince the Planning Commission, Tustin City Council, and T-Mobile to consider alternate sites for a cell tower to serve the needs of the Peters Canyon area that will have less negative impact on the neighboring communities.

Many cities around Southern California are in battles with their city officials and T-Mobile, or other cell service providers, due to the proliferation of cell towers in residential neighborhoods. Often the first notice residents have of a tower going up is when the construction crews arrive to start breaking ground. We advocate greater transparency in the selection process of these sites and inclusion of the local residents in the final approval to assure that the best possible site is selected and the negative impacts to the community are minimized.

An alternate location for a cell installation exists just 400 yards from Cedar Grove Park at the Orange County Fire Authority complex on Jamboree Road. Two cell towers have been approved for construction there and Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint have already agreed to place their equipment at this facility. We feel T-Mobile should do the same.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

City Council Approves Cell Tower Unanimously

In a 5-0 vote last night the Tustin City Council approved the application for T-Mobile's cell tower installation in Cedar Grove Park.  T-Mobile is free to begin construction on the site as soon as the city grants it a license - which could be within 30 days.  Officers from ATS (the "independent consultant" hired to concoct the city's Wireless Master Plan) and T-Mobile representatives were enthusiastically congratulating each other in the lobby of the council chambers after the meeting.  And why not?  ATS stands to profit handsomely from this installation, and any others on city property, since they will contractually receive a significant portion of the revenue generated by the site.

This action marks the end of our over two year effort to block this cell tower installation.  In, addition, it opens the park up to additional wireless carriers.  Now that the city has allowed one carrier in the park they cannot lawfully deny others.  They have set a precedent that has implications for years to come.  We may have to rename this park to Cellular Grove Park in the near future.

All of this in spite of the fact that the cellular installation at the OC Fire Authority, just 400 yards away, can house up to 5 carriers.  The stupidity boggles the mind.

I would ask any Tustin resident reading this blog to reflect on these issues the next time you go to the polls.  Ask yourself if the person you are about to vote for really has your best interest in mind, or if they are more concerned with cozying up to big business interests and selling city assets off to the highest bidder.

Watch out Citrus Ranch Park.  You're next...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

City of Tustin settles out of court and allows cell tower in Cedar Grove Park

Just yesterday we learned that our city leaders agreed to settle T-Mobile's lawsuit out of court and AGREED TO ALLOW THE INSTALLATION OF CELL TOWERS IN CEDAR GROVE PARK.

This is a complete reversal of the 3-2 decision of the City Council last fall to deny T-Mobiles application and allows T-Mobile to proceed immediately with licensing and eventual construction of the towers.

This is very disappointing.  In spite of the overwhelming opposition to the towers displayed by the community, and in total disregard of the democratic process, our city's leaders have basically given away our pristine community park to commercial interests.

I would HIGHLY encourage everyone to e-mail the City Council members to express your outrage and grave disappointment over the decision.  I will continue to provide updates as I receive them.

John Nielsen:
Becky Gomez:
Al Murray:
Jerry Amante:

Update regarding the cell tower at Orange County Fire Authority – the project is on track. Equipment has been ordered and licenses, etc. have been pulled. Estimated construction start date is July 2012. The tower will accommodate up to 5 carriers. Cedar grove will accommodate one carrier – T-Mobile.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

City Council Affirms Cell Tower Denial

In the final chapter of the Cedar Grove Park cell tower saga, the Tustin City Council voted 3-2 last night to uphold the denial of T-Mobile's cell tower application for Cedar Grove Park.  With this vote the issue is finally put to rest.  There will be no cell tower in Cedar Grove Park.

Mayor Amante raised several objections to the denial, and forced a vote on the issue separate from the rest of the items on the agenda.  The vote was split 3-2 in favor of affirming the denial of the application with Councilman Murry siding with Amante as he did on the original vote.

T-Mobile's representative was allowed an opportunity to speak to the council again to state his case.  He made several pleas to allow the project to move forward and even threatened to place a tower on the sidewalk in the public right-of-way if he did not get the location in the park.

In the end, however, council members Nielsen, Gavello, and Gomez were unwavering in their support for the denial. 

The members of the SaveCedarGovePark organization wish to thank all of the supporters who have assisted the campaign to stop this tower in our local park.  This victory shows that individuals still have the power to control what happens in their communities if they are willing to stand up and be heard.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

City Council Denies Cell Tower!

In a 3-2 vote tonight the Tustin City Council denied T-Mobile's application to install the flagpole cell tower in Cedar Grove Park.  Council members Gavello, Gomez, and Nielsen voted against the installation while members Murray and Amante voted for it.

The city staff was directed to compile findings to present at the next council meeting that will be entered into the public record as grounds for denial of the application.

Thoughtful commentary was provided by each of the council members.  In particular, Mayor Amante raised interesting questions about what the city's position will be going forward in regard to cell tower placement on city property.

For the moment, however, it would appear that Cedar Grove Park will be free of cell tower installations for the foreseeable future.

Thank you to all of the supporters who attended the meeting tonight.  We had an excellent turnout and demonstrated to the City Council that we are concerned residents who take pride in our neighborhood and want to protect the natural beauty of our parks!

City Council Meeting TODAY

Please attend the Tustin City Council meeting tonight to hear final arguments on the proposed cell site at Cedar Grove Park.

Tustin City Hall, City Council chambers
300 Centennial Way, Tustin
7:00 pm

Sunday, October 16, 2011

City Staff Report for Tuesday Oct. 18th Meeting

A copy of the Tustin City Staff report for the upcoming City Council Meeting on Tuesday October 18th may be downloaded from the following link:

Staff Report 10-14-11

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tustin City Council to Make Decision on Oct. 18th, 2011

The Tustin City Council will make what could be the final ruling on the decision to put a T-Mobile cell site in Cedar Grove Park next Tuesday, October 18th, at 7:00 pm.

This decision was postponed at the July 19th City Council meeting in order for the council to consider all of the information they had received from T-Mobile and those opposed to the installation.  At that meeting, Tustin Mayor Jerry Amante asked the City staff to gather specific information to present to all of the council members so that they would be sufficiently informed to make a decision on the cell tower installation.

Specifically, he asked for:

1) Information on line of sight of a cell tower at the OC Fire Authority location,
2) Information on the cell site at the Salvation Army and the light pole T-Mobile location on Tustin Ranch Road in front of the Tustin Golf Course and their coverage,
3) Information on whether the design of the Cedar Grove site meets AT&T’s needs should AT&T take over the site in a merger deal with T-Mobile,
4) A report on the status of AT&T / T-Mobile merger,
5) The council to review a case out of Washington that was provided to them as precedent for this installation,
6) A determination on whether the Cedar Grove site meets the design criteria set by ATS regarding co-location of multiple carriers,
7) A report on the status of the cell tower installation at the OCFA and which cell carriers have agreed to locate there,
8) Information on what effect tree growth around the proposed towers at Cedar Grove would have on the coverage provided by that site.

Councilwoman Gomez also requested additional information on all of the data regarding coverage of the other cell towers in the area.
The report by the city planning staff should be coming out by Friday of this week and a link will be posted to it on this blog when it becomes available.

Please attend the city council meeting next Tuesday to express your opinion on this issue.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

City Council Postpones Decision on Cell Towers until October

 On Tuesday, June 19, the City Council held a Public Hearing on T-Mobile's application to install a cell facility in Cedar Grove Park.  Two Council members indicated they would not approve the application, but the other 3 needed more information before they could render a decision. The Hearing has been continued 90 days to October 18, 2011 at 7pm to allow City Staff time to get the information requested.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

City Council to Decide on Cedar Grove Cell Towers July 19th.

The proposed T-Mobile cell tower installation for Cedar Grove Park will come before the Tustin City Council on July 19th, 2011. 

The City Council's decision will be the final word on this installation.  If approved, the project will move forward and there will be a cell tower in Cedar Grove Park.

Please attend the meeting and voice your opinion on this installation.

July 19, 2011, 7:00 pm
Tustin City Hall Council Chambers
300 Centennial Way, Tustin CA

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mayor Pro Tem Nielsen Calls for Public Hearing

Mayor Pro Tem John Nielsen has asked that a public hearing be granted to hear arguments before the City Council regarding the proposed T-Mobile cell tower installation in Cedar Grove Park.  This action, in effect, carries the same weight as filing an appeal of the Planning Commission decision of April 26, 2011, that approved the design.

The Save Cedar Grove Park Committee received word of Nielsen's action on the appeal filing deadline, May 7, 2011.  The Committee had an appeal prepared and was set to file it with the city clerk on Friday.

THANK YOU to all who wrote to the council members expressing your opinion on this issue.  The volume of letters and emails they received obviously has convinced them that they must listen to our concerns.

According to Tustin City Code, the hearing before the City Council must occur within 60 days of the filing date.  Therefore, expect the hearing to take place sometime before July 6, 2011. 

Please stay vigilant and watch this website for updates.  The City Council hearing will be OUR FINAL OPPORTUNITY to kill this installation once and for all.  We must have a large turnout to convince them that a cell site does not belong at Cedar Grove Park!

The request for a hearing relieved us from the $1500 fee required for filing the appeal.  Therefore, we will gladly refund the donations of anyone who contributed during our recent round of fund raising.  Donations retained will go toward defraying the cost of signs and leaflets created to notify residents of the upcoming City Council hearings once they are scheduled.