Thank you to everyone who came out to support our Rally opposing ZTA 22-01

We’re still in this! Also, BIG Thanks to Fox5DC and @thesierrafox for helping to uplift our voices, raising more awareness.

The rally was held Tuesday October 11th
On the steps of the County Council Building
100 Maryland Ave, Rockville, MD

Share the news coverage with friends! Post on social media!




Second news report.

Rally Highlight: Marion Edey, long-time Environmental Activist and once Founder of the National League of Conservation Voters (LCV), discusses the known impacts of cell towers on the environment.

Rally Highlight: Rick Meyer, President

Listen to what MoCo Residents want from the Montgomery County Council regarding cell antennas 30 feet from homes!

Rally Highlight: Rick Meyer, President

Listen to how #MoCo Residents have been repeatedly ignored by #MoCoCouncilMD over cell antennas 30 feet from homes at our rally against ZTA 22-01.


FCC’s recent big loss in court proves what residents warned all along: Montgomery County Council can’t trust the FCC’s safety standards from 1996 for wireless radiation to protect our families.

fcc vid

Technology has changed a lot since 1996 when cell towers were away from homes & people. FCC's recent big loss in court proves what residents warned all along: Montgomery County Council can’t trust the FCC's safety standards from 1996 for wireless radiation to protect our families.

Please share on social media.


Election Alert: Electronic touchscreen ballots divide candidate choices up via second screens not available unless clicked

A problem has already been reported with voting on the touchscreen for (some) races with multiple candidates in that the voter has to view two screens to see all of the names of candidates running for that position. When there’s a split screen, make sure to click again to see the second screen. Many of the candidates themselves are unaware of these screen issues.

David Lublin of Seventh State has also alerted that the electronic ballot divides the candidates on two pages –– and suggested one way to address these biases is to randomize candidate order. In general, ballot order can shape outcomes. Candidates with names ending in A-L do better, on average, than candidates with names ending in M-Z for this reason. In polling, respondents are most likely to give the first or last choice as their answer.

There was a virtual/Zoom meeting of the Montgomery County Election Board which took place starting at 2:30 p.m. yesterday, Monday, July 11th. Much of the meeting focused on the issue of the touchscreens -– as well as the taking of public (and a candidate’s) testimony regarding the experienced screen viewing confusion. An immediate fix to the software was suggested, but software resolution seems unlikely in time for the rest of early voting or even by election day next Tuesday, July 19th. The Board did acknowledge that this is a serious problem, and meanwhile, promised to use social media and otherwise to get the word out to the public. Election judges will also be immediately educated to better inform voters of the problem when they come in to vote.

Some early voters have strongly advised that it’s best to just request a paper ballot to prevent any confusion about ALL of your voting choices.

URGENT: Act Now to Give the Public a Voice in Licensing of Wireless Facilities on Poles

The County recently released a draft Pole Attachment License Agreement (PLA) that would provide authorization for companies to attach wireless facilities on or in existing or replacement County-owned streetlight poles. Because a licensee can request authorization to attach to any streetlight pole, the PLA poses significant impacts for residents and County at-large. The PLA was released on the Transmission Facilities Coordination Group (TFCG) web page with little or no public notice and only three weeks for public comments, which are due Monday, April 25! The public was allowed only 3,000 characters to comment and could not include any links. The lack of notice and the short time-frame for comments are inadequate and inconsistent with County Executive Elrich’s guiding principles.

Please write to County Executive Elrich and TFCG chair Marjorie Williams and urge them to provide more time for public comments, as well as meaningful notice, public outreach, and an atmosphere that sincerely encourages substantive public comments! Please also submit your comments on the TFCG link.

Takoma Park City Council Sends Letter Opposing the Passage of ZTA 19-07

The City Council has sent a letter to the Montgomery County Council opposing the passage of Zoning Text Amendment 19-07 (Telecommunications Towers – Limited Use) as currently drafted.

“The City of Takoma Park wants every resident of Montgomery County to have equitable access to affordable broadband internet. However, everyone should have a voice in the planning process. This ZTA, as currently drafted, would cut municipalities and residents out of the planning and siting process for many new “small” cell towers and strip us of our voices.”

Read the complete letter

This original news alert was published June 23, 2021 on


For Immediate Release. Statement by Rick Meyer, Executive Director, Montgomery County Coalition for the Control of Cell Towers (MC4T) –Whoops, PHED Committee Chair Goofs Again; ZTA 19-07 Needs Big Band-Aid

For Immediate Release

Statement by: Rick Meyer, Executive Director,
Montgomery County Coalition for the Control of Cell Towers (MC4T)

Whoops, PHED Committee Chair Goofs Again; ZTA 19-07 Needs Big Band-Aid

Councilmember Hans Reimer is fully admitting that he and the wireless industry lobbyists, who last year essentially spoon-fed the Montgomery County Council zoning language for ZTA 19-07, made a Titanic-sized mistake. A mistake so big it requires a “Mulligan ZTA” to repair a giant hole.

Today, Mr. Riemer introduced ZTA 2022-01, which is “fix-it” legislation to specifically include utility poles. Turns out that utility poles are separately defined under County wireless zoning code and not subject to ZTA 19-07. To fix the hole requires a ZTA 2022-01 patch job. Which means Mr. Reimer is also effectively conceding that when recommending ZTA 19-07 to the full Council, the PHED Committee that he chairs (including Councilmembers Andrew Friedson and Will Jawando), inexplicably managed to omit the essential giveaway that the wireless industry coveted most: Unfettered access to more than 30,000 utility poles in Montgomery County!

Further, ZTA 2022-01 will cut in half the minimum set-back distance in residential zones to just 30 feet for utility poles instead of the 60 feet that applies now. The “do over” illustrates that neither Mr. Riemer nor his co-sponsors (Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz and Craig Rice) had any idea when ZTA 19-07 was drafted back in 2018 how the wireless sections of Montgomery County’s complicated zoning code actually worked .

And even though Mr. Riemer’s PHED Committee added radical amendments offering up incredible handouts and concessions just to benefit wireless corporations (and ignoring opposition testimony of dozens of residents) ZTA 19-07 still wasn’t good enough! Those amendments included lopsided procedures and low-ball fees for conditional use hearings.

It took Mr. Riemer 5 years of flailing away at various failed wireless ZTAs to finally pass an industry written ZTA 19-07. He did so under the cover of the COVID-19 global health crisis that locked us all in our homes. He relied on “virtual” Council meetings with no further public hearings in the 20 months since the one and only public hearing – that was based only upon early un-amended drafts of the zoning change. After all that maneuvering , the wireless lobbyists belatedly discovered they’d managed (from their viewpoint) to pass a profoundly flawed ZTA 19-07.

So, Mr. Riemer and the wireless lobbyists now want more – they want ALL those utility poles just 30 feet from dwellings – and he is unabashedly asking the County Council to further pander to the wireless industry, again, by voting for a Mulligan (“do-over”) ZTA 2022-01.

Nice job, Councilmember Riemer. Go ahead, take another swing.


Don’t want a cell tower 30 feet from your bedroom window?

Join us to help defeat ZTA 22-01Stop ZTA 19-07 Yard Photo

The County Council is at it again. They want to pass yet another bill to make it even easier to build thousands of additional cell towers 30 feet from homes, on existing utility or light poles. This new bill comes despite adopting ZTA 19-07 last year, a zoning law the Council pushed through for the wireless industry over residents’ intense objections.


Tell Council President Gabe Albornoz (At-Large) and the rest of the lame-duck Council to cancel the hearing on ZTA 22-01 and allow the incoming Council to consider any changes to the zoning code. (The lead sponsor of 22-01 lost in his primary election bid, but is intent on one more handout to the wireless industry before leaving office this winter.


Breaking News & Action Alert: County Executive Calls For Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Working Group For Cell Towers Siting in Residential Areas

ScreenShot Marc Elrich memo_re Cell Tower Bill ZTA 1907

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“My staff and I have talked with many residents and industry representatives, and we have found them to be knowledgeable and willing to help improve the process. I would like to propose that we convene a working group comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders, including industry, residents, municipalities and homeowner/tenant associations and/or non-profit organizations. Staff support would be provided by Executive and Council staff. The group would have a limited time – perhaps 75 -90 days – to present written recommendations. I believe such a group would allow opportunity for a more complete discussion of these issues.” 

“Regarding concerns about ZTA 19-07, I have the following concerns and comments:

  1. The ZTA does not set any proposed minimum setback from a building; it is a limited use  process up to 30 feet from the building and then it is a “modified conditional use” process  for less than 30 feet setback.”

Hats off to Marc Elrich, Montgomery County Executive, for for actually wanting to engage ALL stakeholders on these complex and important issues!

Call and E-mail  ALL Councilmembers Now and Tell Them You Support Marc Elrich’s Multi-stakeholder Advisory Working Group For Cell Towers Siting in Residential Areas. You may also send an e-mail letter using our Action Network link. It only takes a minute!

phone * e-mail * tweet

Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz (ZTA 19-07 co-sponsor) 240-777-7959

Councilmember Andrew Friedson 240-777-7828

Councilmember Evan Glass 240-777-7966

Tom Hucker (Council President) 240-777-7960

Councilmember Will Jawando 240-777-7811

Councilmember Sidney Katz 240-777-7906

Councilmember Nancy Navarro 240-777-7968

Councilmember Craig Rice (ZTA 19-07 co-sponsor) 240-777-7955

Councilmember Hans Riemer (ZTA 19-07 Lead Sponsor) 240-777-7964

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich 240-777-2500

Register Now for Our Expert Webinar Tues. March 30, 7PM “Montgomery County 5G Small Cell Information Session”

Register for Our Expert Webinar “Montgomery County 5G Small Cell Information Session”

UPDATE: Watch the Video Recording of the Webinar on YouTube.

5G WebinarWhat are the Health and Environmental Effects of 5G Deployment in Montgomery County Maryland and How Will the County Council Proposed Zoning Affect Our Neighborhoods?
  • Speaker: Theodora Scarato, Director of the Environmental Health Trust
  • Date: Tuesday, Mar 30, 2021
  • Time: 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this webinar:

What You Need to Know About Montgomery County, 5G and the New Zoning ZTA 19-07

The Montgomery County Council has proposed a new zoning ordinance named ZTA 19-07 which allows 4G and 5G so called “small” cell towers to be deployed just 30 feet from your home.  The street lights and utility poles in front of your home will be able to be replaced with 5G cell towers without any notice sent to you, nor public hearing required so long as the pole is at least 30 feet from your home.
A Montgomery County Maryland group MoCoSafeG  has invited Theodora Scarato to speak about the health and environmental issues related to 5G and 4G antenna densification.
Research shows that unfettered 5G deployment would greatly increase the greenhouse gas emissions which are driving the climate crisis. Solutions exist to provide internet connections without forcing these cell towers into neighborhoods. Fiber networks are ten times more energy efficient, have no health risks, are cheaper and offer greater privacy protection.
Published research reviews warn that cell tower radiation can harm bees, birds, treesplants and wildlife. There are further substantial impacts to the tree canopy and wildlife from the digging and tree trimming necessary to deploy all of these antennas.
The cellular antennas on these poles will transmit radio frequency microwave (RF/MW) radiation 24/7 which has never been safety tested on people for long term exposure. Many doctors and scientists recommend a halt to 5G until safety research is performed due to the substantial body of research that already exists indicating current 3G and 4G technology is harmful at legal levels.  This issue is the center of a lawsuit in federal court launched by Environmental Health Trust-  now awaiting a court verdict.
Learn about the latest proposed cell tower zoning for Montgomery County and why doctors recommend caution.  Get your questions answered in this informative session on March 30th,  Monday at 7:00pm with expert Theodora Scarato MSW, Executive Director of the scientific think tank Environmental Health Trust.
Date: March 30th, Tuesday at 7:00pm

What Do “Small” Cell Towers Look Like?

Photos of “small” cell towers and other wireless transmission facilities

Junkyard right outside your home

Here is what a cell tower looks like to a Montgomery Co. family that got a 68′ cell tower in their front yard because of a mistake. Eleven years later it’s still there despite her and her neighbors’ attempts at seeking remedy and testifying before the Montgomery County Council.

Stop ZTA 19-07 Yard Photo

Junkyard on a Rooftop Near You

Junkyard on a Water Tower Hovering Over Your House

Junkyard in the school yard (Link to article)

Junkyard in the Sky Smothering the Globe


URGENT-OPPOSE CELL ANTENNAS IN FRONT OF OUR HOMES – Info, Flyers & Sample Letters (Updated 3/30/21)

Montgomery County Council will vote soon on ZTA 19-07. Without a public hearing or your permission, telecom carriers could install a 4G/5G wireless cell tower 30 feet from your home. With a special permit, cell towers would be allowed far closer.

Added March 30, 2021. Email County Council TODAY with our Online Action Tool:

Councilmember Hans Reimer (D/At-Large) issued a press release setting February 10, 2021 as the date he intended to revisit action (again) on Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 19-07 that had been “suspended” almost exactly one year prior. The Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee that he chairs voted on March 10th 2021 to send the ZTA on to the full Council, which the Committee had drastically revised. It’s urgent to voice your concerns to the Council ASAP as they will likely vote on it very soon.

Lining our neighborhoods with small cell towers would increase climate change, reduce property values, beam radio-frequency microwave (RF/MW) radiation 24/7 into our homes -– just to name a few issues. (See details below!) A map exists of the intended plan for densification (cancel sign-in to gain access).

Even worse, in the past year, informed residents have exposed just how inept the County’s current oversight of existing wireless facilities is –– especially the antennas allowed to accumulate on top of affordable multi-family apartments without any inspections or measurements. No one, it turns out, knows for sure that the families who live directly under them are not being exposed to illegal levels of RF radiation! Please urge Mr. Riemer, the rest of the Council, and the County Executive to act immediately to end this blatant environmental injustice –– instead of rushing to inflict similar safety and health hazards on every resident in the County.

Mr. Riemer is a big fan of 5G. He apparently buys all of the telecom industry’s pro-5G advertising. However, what industry never mentions in their advertising are the many downsides to implementing 5G, including:

  • 5G would be a huge new energy hog — intensifying our climate crisis. Energy experts estimate that wireless internet communication technologies could be responsible for 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, undermining our efforts to combat climate change. Many trees also would likely have to be cut down for 5G towers –– a further climate cost.
  • 5G has major cyber security problems by providing millions of entry points for hackers into key utilities and infrastructure.
  • 5G is designed to support 3 million wireless devices per square mile, digitizing our entire lives and monitoring behavior 24/7 with massive invasions of privacy–– a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
  • The NSA reports, “Focusing predominantly on 5G technology, the implications of privacy and security are contrasted across the competing requirements of high- speed, low-latency connectivity of billions of devices…the Internet is using much data about many people in many ways, and this raises privacy concerns.”
  • ZTA 19–07’s sponsors falsely suggest the pandemic has shown we need 5G, including to help wipe out the digital divide. What the pandemic has revealed is how many residents and businesses still need affordable access to safe, reliable, secure, high-speed Internet service. Improving wired connections –– that were paid for, but never delivered –– will meet that goal better than expanding wireless technology. We don’t need 5G in our neighborhoods. For equity, we need to make sure that wiring all the way to their premises for high-speed Internet is available for all residences –– including individual apartments –– and that the service is affordable for all, including businesses.
  • Montgomery County passed Bill 44-20 saying that racial equity and social justice issues must be considered in all county ordinances. However, zoning legislation will not be subject to the bill until September 2021 because of a transition clause. ZTA 19-07, if passed before then, will evade such scrutiny. Such scrutiny is essential, because the County’s process for cell-tower oversight is broken –– including its failure to monitor radiation levels inside affordable, multi-family housing and other buildings it lets be used like cell towers, even when the rooftop antennas exceed FCC limits.
  • “Small” cell antennas in front of houses reduce property values, according to the Montgomery County Property Tax Appeals Board.
  • The Property Tax Assessment Appeal Board for Montgomery County lowered a Rockville home’s assessment: “Comparables warrant a reduction in value. Probability of neighboring cell tower also affects value negatively.”
  • The Mayor of Takoma Park and most of Takoma Park’s City Council are part of an amicus brief supporting this same promising, landmark court case against the FCC. The case seems likely to push the FCC to thoroughly review decades of science indicating its 25–year–old exposure guidelines for wireless radiation are not applicable to modern technology, and to update them accordingly. Oral arguments were just heard in late January.
  • In 2018, Councilmember Riemer, in supporting a previous court challenge led by Montgomery County, noted that he and others had asked the FCC “to make every effort to consider all available research and update their RF emissions guidelines accordingly. They have declined to that…so we are taking them to court to ensure that they fulfill their responsibility to keep our residents safe.” ZTA 19–07 undermines the promising new effort above –– involving Takoma Park officials –– to finally achieve the County’s very own goal.
  • Evidence from hundreds of studies, including the definitive NIH National Toxicology Program Study, show that wireless radiation, from 2G, 3G and 4G –– all below 5G, cause biological and environmental effects. There is “clear evidence” of cancer from cell phone level radiation exposure. 4G/5G densification will add significantly to current levels of radiation exposure.
  • Symptoms are being experienced by wireless deployments in other areas: firefighters suffered neurological damage, cancer cluster at an elementary school with tower , and injuries in Switzerland.
  • 252 leading scientists and experts in Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) from 43 nations have signed an Appeal to the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) asking for greater health protection on EMF exposure as of October 2019.
  • The insurance industry will not insure cell towers, antennas, poles, wires, and devices due to the health risks and damages from long term exposure.
  • As of March 2020, 203,659 signatories from 203 nations and territories have signed an Appeal to the UN, WHO, Council of Europe, and governments of all nations to halt the deployment of 5G wireless networks, including 5G from space satellites.

Below is a sample letter you can personalize and send to your District member and all At-Large Montgomery County Council members (Glass, Albornoz, Jawando, and Riemer, the sponsor). Include your address on your District letter.

Note: Councilmember Riemer is the lead sponsor, while Gabe Albornoz, County Council Vice President, and Craig Rice, Councilmember for District 2, are co-sponsors. However, they are not on Mr. Riemer’s PHED committee, which is taking the lead on ZTA 19–07. The only other two members of that committee are Councilmember Jawando and Councilmember Friedson, so please be sure to contact them ASAP!

If you would like to help on this issue or get more information, please email our great group of informed citizens at

To: Montgomery County Council


I am writing to request that you vote against ZTA 19–07, which would allow densified 4G and 5G “small” cell microwave radiation antennas in residential areas of Montgomery County. I oppose deploying untested, ultra-high frequency microwave radiation in Montgomery County. Several lawsuits against the FCC for its unreasonable Orders and outdated exposure guidelines have been brought to court by Montgomery County and its affiliates. We ask you to table this amendment until all devices are proven safe for all Montgomery County citizens, our environment, and the core values of our society. In the meantime, rewrite wireless zoning for maximum protections for our communities until FCC standards are safer for people and the environment.

Likewise, require warnings be made mandatory for every Wireless Telecommunications Facility (WTF) installation, and in every commercial venue with WiFi, antennas, small cells, etc. The robust promotion of 5G for this ZTA is new, therefore another public hearing on ZTA 19–07 is urged by your constituency.


<organizations and individuals names, address>


The undersigned organizations and individuals request that you publicly oppose and vote against ZTA 19–07, which would allow deployment of intensified 4G and new 5G “small cell” microwave radiation antennas in residential areas of Montgomery County. We support a wired-based, fiber to the premises solution as the more secure, cheaper, faster technical solution without the property devaluation, insurance liability, and health risks.

The proposed 4G/5G antennas and their networks are likely to have long standing effects in many areas: climate, the ecosystem in general, privacy invasion, cyber security, reduced property values, and human health –– especially in children. The insurance industry has calculated the medical risks are too high to cover, so the proposed, and existing, wireless infrastructure of towers, antennas, poles, and supporting equipment in Montgomery would have no insurance coverage for damages from long-term exposures.

The 4G microwave radiation infrastructure and devices have more than 2,000 scientific and medical studies linking exposures to biological effects for people, wildlife, and plants. This radiation appears to be especially riskier to children and other medically vulnerable people. Other nations and cities are rejecting 5G and small antennas due to these biological effects. Montgomery County needs to rewrite wireless zoning for maximum protections of our communities and establish “safe havens” that accommodate its medically vulnerable population.

The new 5G technology includes ultra-high frequency millimeter microwave radiation, which has higher energy per square meter and greater capacity for risk to people and the environment than 4G. No safety studies have established a level at which this frequency is safe, and 5G service will include 4G, which we already know is dangerous. Warning signs, viewable to the public, Warning signs that are viewable to the public need to be mandatory for every WTF installation, and in every commercial venue with WiFi, antennas, small cells, etc.

Furthermore, Montgomery County was party to a lawsuit against the FCC for their failure to thoroughly review and update their exposure guidelines. Legal challenges continue against the FCC’s guidelines –– most notably, EHT et al vs FCC, for which many Takoma Park elected officials signed on to the Amicus Brief. Additionally, the U.S. District Court of Appeals found in United Keetoowah Band vs FCC (August 9, 2019) that the FCC was “arbitrary and capricious” in exempting 5G infrastructure from health, environmental, and historical review. As a result, the FCC is under judicial order not to proceed with enforcement of their requirement that local jurisdictions pass legislation such as ZTA 19–07.

Alternatives exist with wired networks such as fiber optic, known as “SafeG”. Fiber optic is already in place in many areas. It has no health risks, and the service is documented in locally-owned networks to be much faster, cheaper, more energy efficient, while providing more reliable data integrity and protecting privacy. Wired internet also remains subject to local regulatory control.

Protection of our safety, health, and environment is the primary purpose of our government and of your representation of us, the electorate. We ask you to table this amendment until all medical, scientific, and legal issues are resolved, and the proposed technology, infrastructure, and devices are proven safe for all Montgomery County citizens, our environment, and the core values of our society. The heavy promotion of 5G for this ZTA is new. Therefore, another public hearing on ZTA 19–07 is urged by your constituency.


<organizations and individuals names, address>

Use your address to find your district at

Marc Elrich, County Executive

At-Large: Hans Riemer, 240-777- 7964

At-Large: Will Jawando, 240-777- 7811

District 1: Andrew Friedson, 240- 777-7828 (Bethesda, Potomac, and Poolesville)

District 2: Craig Rice, 240-777-7955 (Clarksburg, Damascus, and Germantown)

District 3: Sidney Katz, 240-777- 7906 (Gaithersburg and Rockville)

District 4: Nancy Navarro, 240- 777-7968 (Colesville, Laytonsville, Olney, and Wheaton)

District 5: Tom Hucker, 240-777- 7960 (Burtonsville, Silver Spring, and Takoma Park)

At-Large: Evan Glass, 240-777- 7966

At-Large: Gabe Albornoz, 240- 777-7959

Flyers (downloadable PDFs to print & share)

Help spread the word. Download the Oppose ZTA 19-07 flyer PDF now.