This is an alert from Montgomery County Coalition for the Control of Cell Towers (mc4t.org) and concerned Montgomery County residents.
We all need to take immediate action. Delegate Dereck Davis, the Chair of the powerful Economic Matters Committee in the Maryland House of Delegates, has introduced a state bill – HB 654 – We believe that this bill would dismantle local zoning requirements over small cell towers.
He is holding a hearing on this bill NEXT Thursday, February 21 at 1pm. The bill is fully supported by cell tower companies and they have hired lots of lobbyists to push their agenda.
The bill would remove local zoning review in approving small cells. This could mean small cells will be deployed on Maryland street lights, buildings, and near homes without any say from local voices.
That means these towers could be right up next to our homes – mere feet from our bedroom windows.
County and city safety standards would not apply.
Basically, the bill strips the County and our towns and cities from almost all their authority to ensure these facilities are safe and appropriately placed in our communities.
Many of us have worked with our local cities and towns to craft local ordinances to govern the placement of these small cell towers. All of that work would likely be null and void.
Please call the following three members of the Maryland House Economic Matters Committee today. Please email them. Tell them “Do Not Pass HR 654! Protect Our Families! Preserve Local Zoning Over Cell Towers.”
Talmadge Branch | Baltimore City | 45A | 410.841.3398 | email@example.com
(Mr. Branch is the Majority Whip, a major leadership position in the House)
Dereck Davis | Prince George’s | 25B | 410.841.3519 | firstname.lastname@example.org
(Mr. Davis is the Chair of the House Economic Matters Committee)
Benjamin Brooks | Baltimore | 10A | 410.841.3352 | email@example.com
(Mr. Brooks is the Chair of the Public Utilities Subcommittee of the Economic Matters Committee)
Here is a sample note you can send in an email:
Dear Delegate Brooks:
Please oppose this terrible bill!
On February 21, you will hear HB 654. This bill is a giveaway to the telecom industry. At the expense of taxpayers and local communities!
The legislation silences our voices. This bill would likely obliterate local laws – laws that we as a community have crafted to protect our homes and families. This bill will allow telecommunication companies to place their cell towers with little to no regard for the safety of our community.
Please protect our local communities. Don’t pass this bill or ANY bill which takes away local rights! Don’t pass this bill or ANY bill which preempts counties and cities rights to regulate small cells.
* END SAMPLE NOTE *
You can show up in person to testify at the hearing. The more people the better. The hearing is on February 21 at 1pm. BUT YOU MUST SIGN UP IN PERSON BY NOON! State Capitol at the House Office Building which is 6 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD. The hearing is in Room 230. Bring 35 copies. Written statements can be longer but verbal remarks should only be 3 mins (about 450/500 words).
Send a copy of your email to everyone on the committee. Below you can cut and paste all of their email addresses.
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, MaryAnn.Lisanti@house.state.md.us, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com