Around Town | November 2, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - November 2, 2012

Around Town

LOUD AND CLEAR ... AT&T scored a major victory last July in its long quest to install antennas throughout Palo Alto when the City Council approved an agreement with the company that effectively authorizes 75 antenna installations. But each phase seems to bring a new obstacle for AT&T, which has long maintained that the infrastructure is necessary to give the city adequate cell-phone coverage and to satisfy its voracious appetite for data. Some residents remain unconvinced that the DAS ("distributed antenna system") installations — which include placement of antennas on existing utility poles — are the best thing for the city. Resident Tony Kramer has filed an appeal against AT&T's second phase of installation, which includes poles near properties at Homer Avenue, Newell Road, Embarcadero Road and Hamilton Avenue. Kramer is arguing that the project has been violating the city's noise ordinance. Specifically, he argues that the Planning and Community Environment Department has been applying the looser standard for "public property" noise rather than the more stringent "residential standards" noise. Staff had determined that the stricter standard should apply to some areas, including easements that run across residential property, but not to public locations such as parkland. Planners recommend that the City Council reject Kramer's appeal and give AT&T the green light for the second phase of its plan. The council will consider this Monday night. The AT&T plan calls for four phases of antenna installation, with the third and fourth phase involving 20 antennas each.

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