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Meet at 11:30 am, Tuesday, Oct. 11th
Steps of the Montgomery County Council building
100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850 (see directions)
Please share this event information with your email lists. Suggested subject line: Subject: Urgent Action and Invite! Please attend the Oct 11th Rally to Stop Cell Towers 30 Feet From Homes
Don’t want a cell tower 30 feet from your bedroom window?
(Email Council Now with our Action Network Tool – Takes only a minute!)
The Montgomery County Council is scheduled to vote in October on ZTA 22-01, which will allow utility poles to be transformed into cell towers just 30 feet from homes!
You will get NO public notice, no public hearing, and no right to appeal, as long as the pole is at least 30 feet away in any residential neighborhood, which includes houses and apartments.
The MoCo Council this page.on Monday October 10 – tell them NOT to recommend 22-01 to the full Council! “Click on “Start Writing” on the right-hand side of
Thank you to the over 1,000 residents who wrote letters to the County Council and County Executive opposing 22-01. After receiving your letters, the Council increased the number of slots for residents at the September 13 public hearing from only 6 up to 15 slots.
42 residents signed up to testify against 22-01 (thank you again!), however the Council left 27 of them stranded on the waitlist, barred from speaking. The Council declined to move the hearing to a full nighttime hearing to allow all residents on the waitlist to speak. Watch the video testimony here. Every single resident who signed up to testify or submitted testimony opposed this ZTA. It was unanimous. The only people who testified in favor were 2 lobbyists and the chairman of the County Planning Board, an employee selected by the County Council.
1) Remove 22-01 from the PHED Committee agenda on October 10 and cancel all action on ZTA 22-01 this term.
2) Meet with members of our coalition who have requested meetings with multiple Council members regarding ZTA 22-01.
A number of Councilmembers have declined to speak with constituents and members of our coalition regarding 22-01. We hope Councilmembers will recall that they are elected to represent their constituents, not to rubber-stamp bills for lobbyists.We are cc:ing these emails to all candidates for County Council and County Executive in the upcoming November election. We encourage all candidates to urge the outgoing, lame-duck Council not to take any further action on this issue and allow the incoming Council to consider changes to the zoning code and wireless regulations.
It’s time to show the Council that we cannot be ignored: Let’s rally together against the bad idea of cell towers just 30 feet from bedroom windows. Bring signs and stand with us, on the steps of the County Council, 11:30 AM on Tuesday, October 11th!
Background on ZTA 22-01
Last year, the County Council adopted ZTA 19-07, a zoning law pushed through for the wireless industry after six years of residents’ intense objections. Despite finally passing this ZTA, the lead sponsor of 19-07 and 22-01 is claiming that the language of last year’s bill was “not exactly as intended” and needs further correction. He wants to pass yet another ZTA to make it even easier for the wireless industry to install thousands of antennas just 30 feet from homes, on existing utility or light poles.
30 feet is not the magic number!
There is no FCC requirement, no plausible legal justification, for the 30-foot cell antenna setback of ZTA 22-01 and council’s narratives about residential wireless zoning requirements cannot be squared with what the FCC stated to the Supreme Court in response to City of Portland et al. v. the FCC in June 2021. It is yet another gratuitous handout to the wireless industry.
ZTA 22-01 and 19-07 do not provide for any prior notice to residents, or any right of hearing or appeal, for cell towers 30 or more feet from homes. Utility poles contemplated under 22-01 have NO HEIGHT LIMIT.
The Council’s own staff, in its Racial Equity and Social Justice impact statement on ZTA 22-01, did not find that 22-01 would have a positive net impact on racial equity or social justice in the County. And that was after relying on a “report” that was “generously” supported by T-Mobile. At the same time, Council staff noted that “if the reduced set back requirements for small cell towers authorized under ZTA 22-01 results in negative health outcomes, this in turn could widen health disparities by race and ethnicity.” The statement did not even consider the social justice impacts of close proximity towers on vulnerable populations. Read residents’ RESJ analysis and the staff’s reply.
Want To Do More?
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