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.

If you would like to get involved or join our email list please email us at

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, December 15, 2010

Results of Planning Commission Hearing Dec. 14th, 2010

Thank you to all who attended the Planning Commission hearing last night at Tustin City Hall.  We had a very good turnout and were able to state our case clearly to the Planning Commission that we do not want a cell tower at Cedar Grove Park and that other locations such as the OC Fire Authority facility are much better options.

The Planning Commission heard the Design Review application for T-Mobile last night & took testimony from the audience. It has continued the matter until the January 25, 2011 Planning Commission meeting so that many questions posed by the Commission might be answered by City Staff to give T-Mobile the opportunity to conduct "public outreach".

The PC wanted further information about the health issues, about property value affects, alternative locations and specifically whether the OCFA is truly a viable option. They wanted information about how the park was to accommodate the ground equipment for the 5 or 6 carriers that would eventually be there (the plan only lays out equipment for 2).

The PC seemed particularly concerned and requested information about safety issues, fire hazard issues and preserving history but it is unclear how they will respond.

T-Mobile has tentatively set a community meeting for January 6, 2011 (no location or details yet) to talk to us about why its tower should be in our park.

Planning Commissioner Jeff Thompson had this to say at the end of the meeting:

“One of the resounding comments I would like to hear more about is “why not the OCFA training facility.  There has been a lot of questions about it and I think we need to understand.  I think it would be good to hear from the Fire Authority their perspective as well as T-Mobile’s perspective on that.
. . . .
I want to give this the absolute respect that it deserves.
. . . .
Also at the (T-Mobile community meeting) workshop, although it is a vulnerable meeting between the applicant and members of the public, I’d like to suggest that all sorts of questions be explored. . . maybe answering about the Fire Authority location. If this location that has been pinpointed on the map isn’t good, is there another corner on the park that is that doesn’t affect the trees and the beautiful stand that it has, or how can the facility be modified?  Does it have to be so high?  Anything like that, I think those are the kind of questions I’d like to suggest to be asked as painful as that might be, but just to  explore some of the options.”

The video from the hearing is here:

click on 12/14 Planning. Our agenda item starts at 1:55:30

Friday, December 10, 2010

Write the Planning Commision TODAY!

The Tustin Planning Commission staff released their report yesterday recommending that the Planning Commission APPROVE THE CELL TOWER IN CEDAR GROVE PARK.

The report contained four letters in support of the cell tower and only two opposed to it (although one of those had our petition attached with over 450 signatures on it.)

Now is the time to act if we are to have any hope of keeping this tower out of the park. Please take five minutes to write an email stating your opinion and send it to each of the
Planning Commission and City Council Members.  This may be our last chance!

And please do whatever you can to show up at the Planning Commission meeting Tuesday the 14th at 7PM.

If we do not have a large showing at the meeting Tuesday with people voicing their opposition to the tower IT WILL BE APPROVED.

Thanks for your support!


City Council:;

David Biggs, City Manager:;

Elizabeth Binsack, Director of Community Development & Zoning Administrator:;

Ryan Swiontek, city planning:;

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Public Hearing Just One Week Away

The Tustin Planning Commission hearing to determine the fate of T-Mobile's application for the cell tower proposed for Cedar Grove Park is just one week away - 
Tuesday, December 14, 2010, 7:00 pm
@ Tustin City Hall.

It is imperative that anyone concerned with the proposed installation of this tower in our local park attend this meeting and make their voice heard.  A large showing a the meeting will convince the Planning Commission that we are united in our opposition of this cell tower.

Please do whatever you can to attend this meeting
and encourage your fellow neighbors to come as well!

If you would like to speak at the meeting, please prepare a statement in advance.  

We need as many people as possible making statements at this meeting!

Looking forward to seeing all of you there next Tuesday!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Save Cedar Grove Park!

It's time to write the Tustin Planning Commission and City Council and tell them to say no to the tower. The more they hear from us, the better they will hear our message: "We do not want a cell tower in the middle of Cedar Grove Park!"

Have a look at our sample letter if you would like some ideas on what type of information to mention.

City Council:;
David Biggs, City Manager:;
Elizabeth Binsack, Director of Community Development & Zoning Administrator:;
Ryan Swiontek, city planning:;

And why stop with the Tustin city officials?  Let T-Mobile hear from you as well:

Robert Dotson, President of T-Mobile:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Proposed Cell Tower at OC Fire Authority Campus

The OC Fire Authority is currently negotiating plans to install a Cell Tower on their property at the intersection of Tustin Ranch and Jamboree roads. If this tower goes forward it may provide an alternative location for the T-Mobile cell tower proposed for Cedar Grove Park. Currently, this is the only alternate location in the area that is actively being pursued by a tower provider.

We are interested in hearing your opinion. Do you consider this tower to be a good alternate location for the proposed Cedar Grove tower, or would you rather not have a tower installed in either location?

Please take the poll on the left side of the page.

The OC Fire Authority is within the city limits of Irvine and is therefore subject to their regulations regarding zoning on this matter.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Huntington Beach Says "NO" to Cell Towers

The residents of Huntington Beach gave a resounding "NO" to the construction of two cell towers in city parks with the defeat of Measure Q on November 2. This measure, put on the ballot by the Huntington Beach City Council, asked voters if they approved of the construction of cell towers in Harbor View Park and Bolsa View Park. The measure was defeated by a 55% to 45% margin.

The whole fight got started when T-Mobile received approval from the city council in 2007 to begin construction of the two cell towers in the parks. Local residents were not aware of the decision until construction was already underway. A public outcry ensued and residents began looking for ways to stop the construction. The answer was discovered in Measure C, a 1990 city ballot measure requiring voter approval on any construction project that cost over $100,000 in a city park or beach. Based on this measure, the city council reversed itself and canceled the construction project.

Well it didn't stop there. T-Mobile sued Huntington Beach in Federal court and the judge ruled that the 1996 Federal Telecommunications Act overruled Measure C. The city would have to find another way to prevent the towers. Thus Measure Q was drafted and submitted for voter approval.

The whole matter is headed back to Federal court on November 9. Hopefully, the Federal judge, armed with the knowledge that the citizens of Huntington Beach do not want cell towers in their city parks, will side with the will of the people.

Monday, November 1, 2010

How does 911 Service on cell phones work?

Even if your cell carrier is unable to pick up your 911 call, federal law requires that your 911 call be transmitted by other wireless carrier(s) covering the area, regardless of who your wireless contract (or lack thereof) is with. These calls are picked up by any carrier with similar technology (AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM technology while Sprint, Verizon, Metro PCS, and U.S. Cellular use CDMA technology) and directed to what is called a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), which is a call center responsible for transferring calls to police, fire, or ambulance services. There are approximately 6,100 primary and secondary PSAP’s nationwide.

Enhanced 911 services in the cellular industry have been implemented in two phases. Phase I Enhanced 911 (E911) requires wireless service providers to provide the PSAP with the telephone number of the originator of a wireless 911 call and the location of the cell site or base station transmitting the call within six minutes of a valid request. Phase II E911 requires the provider to give the latitude and longitude of the caller to the PSAP with in six minutes of a valid request by a PSAP. This information must be accurate to within 50 to 300 meters depending on the type of technology used.

The FCC required wireless carriers to have Phase II E911 for 95% of their subscribers by the end of 2005, however, because of the complexity of the coordination and technology required from wireless carriers, it is still important to stay on the line and provide the dispatcher with as much information about the exact location of the emergency to ensure help can be dispatched to the correct location.

For more information, access the FCC website here:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

City Hall Rally a Success!

About seventy people showed up for the rally at Tustin City Hall today, many of them children with their parents.  In addition, several members of the zoning commission and other public officials were in attendance.  Our point seems to be gaining some ground with the city - but we have a long way to go.

In addition to the speeches given by various members of our committee, several members of the No on Q campaign from Huntington Beach came down and shared some of the experiences they have had in their fight with T-Mobile.  Their main message: STAY VIGILANT!

The City put out the following press release:


The Tustin Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, December 14, 2010, at 7:00 PM on a proposed cell tower and related facilities on a site in Cedar Grove Park.  This public hearing will consider design review hearing 09-33 for the project as proposed by T-Mobile and will take place  in the City Council Chambers at 300 Centennial  Way.

The City's Zoning Administrator initially approved this application after a public hearing on Wednesday, October 20, 2010.  However, Zoning Administrator Elizabeth Binsack vacated her decision on October 27, 2010, in order to allow the matter to be heard by the Planning Commission directly, without the matter having to be appealed.  This decision was made based on the level of community interest in the issue.

So mark your calendars for December 14th!  We need to have a huge turnout for this meeting to show the City that we will not back down on this issue.  An alternate location must be found for this tower!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010



There will be a public rally at Tustin City Hall at
3:30pm on Thursday, October 28th
to protest the proposed installation of the T-Mobile cell tower in
Cedar Grove Park.

Bring as many people as you can! 

We must continue to let the city council know how serious
we are about opposing this tower.

Those of you who would like to make a statement, please prepare something in advance.

There will be media covering this event.


PS.  Please do not park at any of the shopping centers across the street from city hall. 
Use public parking on the street or in the library or city hall lots.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Earlier today we received the following email from City Councilmember Doug Davert Offering to appeal the Zoning Commission's decision to install a cell tower in Cedar Grove Park.  We are following up with the city to confirm this.

This action will preclude us from having to submit the $1500 filing fee to the city.  So for now, please hold any further donations until we determine what steps to take next.

The fight is not over, the planning commission still needs to rule on the appeal and then the City Council will have the final say - so we must keep the pressure on.

We are considering a rally at city hall on Thursday at 3:30PM to show the city the strength of the opposition to this tower.

Please email back and let us know if you would be interested in participating in this rally.

Thanks to all of you who emailed and called City Hall!  They seem to have heard our message!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Doug Davert-Tustin <>
Date: Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 10:10 AM
Subject: Appeal of Zonig Administrator Action
Cc: "Biggs, David" <>

A member of the City Council can appeal an item without incurring fees.  I will appeal this item so that you do not need to come up with the fees.  This is an important issue.  I have been an advocate for improved cell phone service in your area and have been working with the applicant for years to come up with a plan.  I was not aware of any opposition to the plan, and the City Council needs to hear your concerns.
By copy of this e-mail to our City Manager, David Biggs, I am formally requesting that the action of the Zoning Administrator be appealed. 
Thank you for your time and input.
Doug Davert
Member, Tustin City Council

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Volunteers begin canvassing neighborhoods to get the word out.

Volunteers began distributing flyers and knocking on doors Saturday in the neighborhoods adjacent to Cedar Grove Park in an effort to make people aware of the proposed cell tower.

Continued efforts are planned throughout the weekend.  If you, or someone you know, would like to help please send us an email with your contact info to

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cedar Grove Citizens Committee meets to discuss fundraising

The Committee to Save Cedar Grove Park met this evening at the El Dorado pool to discuss a plan of action regarding next Friday's deadline for filing the appeal.  Various tasks, including creating a flyer, canvassing neighborhoods for donations, and drafting the appeal were delegated to the members.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cedar Grove Park is in Danger!


(Send money from your PayPal account to email address

If you would like to get involved please email us at