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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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.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Minutes from December 14th Planning Commission Hearing Released

The minutes from the December 14th, 2010 Planning Commission Hearing have been released.  Although not available yet on the website, they are available HERE for download.

The following is an excerpt from the minutes detailing the tasks the Planning Commission staff has been directed to do before the next hearing on January 25th:

1 Health Concerns
  • Elaborate on studies done by the World Health Organization and American Cancer Society 
  • Provide more context clarification and background 
  • Is it possible to limit the antennas emissions 
2 Alternate Locations
  • Clarify the need for the facility at the proposed location 
  • Provide clearer maps on signal strength as well as simplified maps 
  • Can the OCFA site be utilized instead and only this facility be used 
  • Provide comments input from OCFA 
  • Provide more analysis on alternate locations explore other locations within the park 
  • How was the site selected and how was the site determined to be the best location 
  • Explore the alternative use of micro sites micro antenna networks 
  • Provide an independent third party analysis of the OCFA site to determine its viability 
3 Potential Hazards
  • Does the proposed facility pose a fire danger or an increased risk 
  • Is the school gate ever open before or after school 
  • Elaborate on safety concerns could the tower fall over 
4 Architectural
  • Aesthetic Impacts 
  • How will the project affect the historical significance of the park 
  • What design modifications would be necessary to accommodate six wireless carriers and assess the long term impact to the park of those modifications 
  • Clarify the tower height in relation to existing trees and identify the minimum height necessary for coverage 
  • Is there a maximum co location potential at this site or is it open ended 
  • Put up stakes on project site story poles to represent the project location in the field  
  • Provide photos and locations of existing mono cedars similar to the one being proposed  
  • The facility would intrude on the Redwood Cedar Grove  
5 Impact to the Park
  • How is the project site currently used and how would it be impacted by the potential facility  
  • How close to the cement path would the facility be  
  • The facility would commercialize the park  
  • It was noted that the proposal would not be consistent with the General Plan  
6 Public Outreach
  • What has been done and what are the results  
  • Summarize the 01 06 11 meeting between TMobile and the public  
  • Allow TMobile to conduct community outreach with residents to help them understand TMobile system and why Cedar Grove Park is their only option  
  • TMobile has failed to communicate the project to the public provide more public outreach  
7 Property Values
  • Provide more information on the potential effect on property values  
8 What are other cities communities doing with these facilities

As soon as we receive the Staff Report that details the answers to these questions, we will make it available on this site.