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, 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