Around Town | April 8, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - April 8, 2011

Around Town

SPOTTY RECEPTION ... AT&T's quest to plant cellular towers and Wi-Fi antennas in Palo Alto has proved taxing for company officials, city staff and concerned residents around the proposed sites. This week brought mixed results for both the company and its opponents. The City Council approved on Monday AT&T's request to install Wi-Fi antennas on the sixth-floor balcony of Hotel President on University Avenue but prohibited the company from going through residents' apartments to install or maintain the antennas. An AT&T employee will have to use a cherry picker to reach the balconies on University Avenue, taking up parking spots on the city's busiest commercial strip while work is done. On Thursday, the city dealt AT&T a blow when the Architectural Review Board panned the company's plans to install a cellular antenna at 1095 Channing Ave., at St. Albert the Great Church. The board called the application incomplete and continued its vote to a later date. Board member Judith Wasserman, the sole dissenter, called for AT&T to start over. "I just think it's a poor design," Wasserman said. "In order for this to work architecturally, it's got a long way to go." Planning & Community Environment Director Curtis Williams told the council this week that the city is anticipating more cell-tower applications and proposed a study session to discuss the myriad contentious issues around the subject, including visual impact, public-outreach requirements and the antennas' impacts on property values.

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