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AT&T Cell Tower For Pacific Palisades Questioned at Meeting

Citing their mandate to improve service, Cable Engineering Service representatives say they want to look at other options instead of the initial Mount Holyoke Avenue site.

Nearly 40 residents showed up to the land use committee meeting Thursday to voice concern over the . A representative from Cable Engineering Services (CES) presented several possible alternative sites, and said they want work to reach a concensus with the community.

Rob Searcy, planning/leasing manager for CES, said that area's service for Pacific Palisades has been deemed substandard under its Federal Communications Commission license, so they are required to bring it up to an acceptable level. The proposal for the 45-foot pole is still in the early stages, as CES' application to the California Coastal Commission is pending, and they have not yet filed their above ground facility permit application.

Searcy said five similar cell tower sites for Verizon were approved in the Palisades Highlands, and it took two-and-a-half years to reach a community concensus on those, given mirroring concerns over aethetics, primarily. He said AT&T's proposed site is chosen because it could produce a good enough signal and wasn't on a slope, which could trigger a surcharge.

"We're willing to open up more possibilities," he said in an interview after the meeting. "To go to a commercial or industrial area would be the least restrictive, but the demands of today bring it into residential [areas]."

Searcy outlined alternative sites for AT&T tower as:

  • Optimize the current facility in place and place a vault in the vicinity of the currently proposed vault location.
  • Utilize the utility pole located on the west side of Holyoke Avenue at the southerly terminus of the cul-de-sac.
  • Place a new utility pole in-lead on the east side of Holyoke Avenue (the current proposed design).
  • Place a new utility or stand-alone pole on to the east of the barrier on the north side of Via De Los Olas

"We are also in the process of assessing other existing utility poles on Holyoke to determine their viability," he noted.

One resident at the meeting already spoke up about not liking an alternative proposal putting the tower closer to her home, and the Via De Los Olas idea was not preferred due to potential impacts due to geological conditions.

LUC Chairwoman Chris Spitz said it's totally understandable why residents in that neighborhood oppose it.

"It may not go in this spot, but it may go in front of someone else's home," she said, noting there is no future public discussion planned for the committee on the proposal.

Neighbors, Councilman Rosendahl oppose proposal

Resident Nancy Graham said her family's been a loyal AT&T customer and they live in a two-story house in the neighorhood. She said the adjacant park is the only quiet place in Palisades to reflect and restore the soul, and also held geologic concerns about the proposal.

"There's nothing good about this," she said.

Several residents cited concerns for their property values lowering due to the cell tower. started the Facebook group "Stop AT&T From Putting Cell Towers in Palisades Parks," which had 236 members on Thursday night. The group also has a petition going around.

City Councilman Bill Rosendahl opposes the proposal due to the site's proximity to the park, according to spokesman Tony Arranaga on Tuesday.

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