New Petition: Repeal ZTA 19-07 and ZTA 22-01. Effects are harmful to residents and neighborhoods

October 25, 2022. A sad day. Thrive 2050 and ZTA 22-01 were both passed by the Montgomery County Council. This is not over! We will not stand by and allow cell towers 30 feet from our homes! We won’t stand for gentrification and displacement!

“Shame on all of you — we hold you accountable,” yelled a woman in the audience after the vote for ZTA 22-01.

We are stronger together and we will be heard!! @MoCoCouncilMD get use to using that gavel. — EPICofMoCo (@EPICofMoCo) October 25, 2022

Two important actions you can take:

  1. Sign the new petition to repeal ZTA19-07 and ZTA 22-01 (link below), and
  2. Vote by Nov. 8: View our updated 2022 General Election Voter Guide (link below).

SIGN THE PETITION TO RESTORE
RESIDENTS’ INTERESTS!
actionnetwork.org/petitions/moco-cell-towers

The Montgomery County Council has passed new zoning that allows cell towers 30 feet from houses and apartments and removes residents previous rights to notice and hearings — eliminating the community from the decision making process.

Use this link to “ADD YOUR NAME” to sign our petition!

Dear Incoming County Council and the County Executive,

We urge you to:

1. Take action to immediately repeal ZTA 19-07 and ZTA 22-01, which allow cell towers 30 feet from homes.

2. Reform wireless zoning and regulation in Montgomery County, with input from residents.

View – Print –  Share!

UPDATED: General Election 2022 – Voter Guide

Don’t want cell towers 30 feet (or less) from your bedroom?
VOTE! BY November 8, 2022

Voter Guide to candidates who support residents’ interests when it comes to cell towers

County Council and County Executive general election, Montgomery County, MD

MoCo Residents have had enough of the false claims by the Telecom industry and their lobbyists AND by Councilmember Hans Riemer

Council’s narratives about residential wireless zoning requirements cannot be squared with what the FCC guidance actually states.

THERE IS NO FCC REQUIREMENT!

The following is an excerpt of a report by Montgomery County Clear Vistas. Read the entire document here.

Background Information: Zoning Text Amendments relating to “small” wireless facilities

  • On July 27, 2021, the Council approved Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 19-07, which enables deployment of telecommunications towers in County rights-of-way in residential and agricultural zones. These zones include most single-family homes and many (if not most) multifamily dwellings in the County.
  • On May 15, 2018, the Council approved ZTA 18-02, which allowed similar deployments in commercial and mixed commercial/residential zones, with the placement of towers just 10 feet from existing buildings (including homes and schools).
  • Montgomery County was not required to adopt these ZTAs in order to comply with federal law:
    • Montgomery County is not and was not vulnerable to liability for “a lot of money” if it failed to adopt these ZTAs, as some have claimed. The Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that localities cannot be fined or liable for money damages for failing to deploy a cell tower. (4)
    • The below comparison table summarizes key areas in which 19-07 is more permissive, with towers much closer to homes, than FCC guidelines.
  • Both of these ZTAs were passed without input from the Office of the People’s Counsel (OPC), a required step to amend the zoning code. (5) OPC was created to “protect the public interest” in zoning matters. (6) The Council had previously defunded OPC and voted again on May 11, 2022 to withhold funding. (7)

“If you don’t like this then you can go ahead and accept it because the FCC requires it”. DC News Now Video

“…to quote a decision maker in my community who said, and I quote, they were commanded by the FCC to allow cell towers in homes in a residential area and that’s really not true–it’s really not factual” Theodora Scarato, Montgomery County Resident and Executive Director of Environmental Health Trust to the  House Science, Technology and Energy Committee  (09/26)

Recent federal court decisions regarding FCC

  • On August 13, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in favor of Environmental Health Trust et al. (8), as follows:
    • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) violated federal law (the Administrative Procedures Act, or APA) by failing to provide a “reasoned explanation” for deciding that its wireless radiation exposure limits do not need updating, even though these limits have not been reviewed since 1996.
    • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not provided an “articulation of the factual… bases” for its conclusions, which “represent[s] a failure by the FDA”, and therefore the FCC cannot rely upon FDA webpage FAQs on cell phone safety.
    • All other expert agencies in the federal government have been silent on the question of safety, and “silence does not even indicate whether the expert agencies… considered any of the evidence”.
    • The Court ordered FCC to “provide a reasoned explanation for its decision” and to address the impacts of RF radiation on children and the environment. FCC has not yet complied with this order.
  • Additional background regarding the EH Trust decision:
    • Petitioners submitted over 11,000 pages of scientific evidence indicating health effects of wireless radiation exposure at levels below FCC’s current limits.
    • FCC is required to set exposure limits to protect public health, but it is not a health agency and relies on other expert agencies’ analyses (which have not been done).
    • FDA acknowledges that it has not made any determination about the safety of cell towers. (9,10)
  • Title 47 Section 332 of the US Code (11) says local governments may not “regulate the placement” of cell towers based on environmental effects of radiofrequency emissions, which is based on the premise that the FCC complies with environmental protection law before it seeks to preempt local zoning authority.

    • However, in 2019 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the Keetoowah case found that FCC violated federal law (the APA) by failing to justify its assertion that “small cell” wireless facilities “pose little to no environmental risk”. (12) The court held that the FCC acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner and that FCC’s “public interest analysis did not meet the standard of reasoned decisionmaking.” Although almost three years have passed since that decision, we are not aware of FCC having provided any analysis of the environmental effects of small cell networks or of their cumulative effects.
    • Wireless carriers have asserted that “environmental effects” includes “health effects”, however this has not been tested in court. Courts have issued decisions based on “potential” health effects or “concerns” about health effects, but not on imminent or actual effects. (13) There is an open legal question about this assertion. (14)

Wireless facilities’ regulatory compliance in the County

  • The County has been approving wireless transmission facilities on rooftops of multifamily residential buildings since at least 1996, as far back as its public database is available. Many of these multifamily homes provide relatively affordable housing in our high-priced County.
  • Residents have brought to the attention of the County’s Transmission Facilities Coordination Group (also known as the Tower Committee) errors in many applications for wireless facilities. For example, in 2020, residents pointed out to the Committee an apparent pattern of errors relating to the underreporting of expected levels of exposure to wireless radiation. This pattern affected at least 25 sites, including nine residential buildings and two County high schools. (15) All had been favorably recommended by the Committee before the errors were discovered, requiring the Committee to seek corrections and re-consideration.

  • Applicants’ own estimates often predict that their antennae on top of residential buildings will generate levels of exposure to wireless radiation in certain areas atop the building and/or over the sides that will exceed federal exposure limits for the general public, sometimes by dozens of times. (16) In one example, the maximum anticipated level of exposure in one area on the rooftop was predicted to be as high as 114 times FCC limits. (17)

  • The Tower Committee does not include any resident representatives, nor are residents permitted to speak at its meetings.

  • The County currently has no policy or procedure to ensure that, after installation, wireless facilities – whether in rights-of-way, on school property, on private property, or on buildings – comply with County requirements and do not exceed FCC exposure limits, even when applications anticipate exceeding those limits.

Comparison between FCC guidelines and recent zoning changes adopted by the Council For Residential and Agricultural Zones summarizing key areas in which 19-07 is more permissive, with towers much closer to homes, than FCC guidelines.

Topic Description FCC guideline ZTA 19-07

< 30 feet from homes (18)

ZTA 19-07

≥ 30 feet from homes(19)

Setbacks Minimum distance from a dwelling (previously 300 feet)
  • No requirement or specific guidance
  • Allowed

  • Allowed

Shot clock

Number of days to process an application to install a small cell tower

  • 90 days, or longer if needed (20)

  • 90 days

  • 90 days

Notice

Whether notice of an application is sent to nearby residents

  • Allowed

  • Sent to property owners within 300 feet

  • Eliminated

Hearing process

Administrative hearing to consider applications and hearing examiner autonomy

  • Permitted at any distance

  • Eliminated hearing examiner ability to reject an application

  • Eliminated

Appeals

Ability for residents to appeal a hearing decision

  • Allowed

  • Eliminated

  • Eliminated

Measurement

Ensuring compliance with FCC radiofrequency exposure limits

  • Allowed

  • None

  • None

Fees

Amount County may charge the applicant for use of the County right-of-way (21)

  • Can recover all costs

  • $2600

  • $690

Aesthetics

Ability of Counties to specify the visual look of cell towers

  • Allowed

  • Hearing examiner minimal latitude

  • Same color as pole

Antenna size  Maximum size of a “small cell” antenna, less than 50 feet from the ground
  • 3 cubic feet
  • 6 cubic feet
  • 6 cubic feet
Liability Antenna owner responsible for liability arising from its deployment
  • Allowed
  • No requirement
  • No requirement

Note: Table above summarizes the changes enacted by ZTA 19-07, which amended the zoning code section 59-3.5.2; this summary does not capture all aspects of a complex zoning code, nor does it reflect the applicability of section 59-3.5.14, which is the subject of a proposed ZTA 22-01 (see endnote 3).

References

1 https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/Resources/Files/zta/2018/20180515_18-44.pdf

2 https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/Resources/Files/zta/2019/20210727_19-17.pdf

3 https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council/Resources/Files/agenda/col/2022/20220215/20220215_3C.pdf

4 https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/04pdf/03-1601.pdf

5 See Zoning Ordinance, Appendix B, section 2(a) https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/montgomerycounty/latest/montgomeryco_md_zone2014/0-0-0-64694

6 https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/montgomerycounty/latest/montgomeryco_md/0-0-0-1897

7 PHED Committee recommended withholding OPC funding: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council/Resources/Files/agenda/col/2022/20220511/20220511_36.pdf Full Council adopted this recommendation without discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrdi8QFDKK4

Recommendation shown on the summary for that Council meeting: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/Resources/Files/agenda/col/2022/20220511/summary- 20220511.pdf

8 https://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/FB976465BF00F8BD85258730004EFDF7/$file/20-1025- 1910111.pdf

9 See letter dated January 11, 2022, from FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health https://ehtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/FCC_FDA-Communications-FCC-Lawyer-and-Mother-on-Cell-Tower- Radiation-.pdf

10 See public comments by local resident groups regarding Montgomery County’s reliance on FDA statements: https://www.regulations.gov/comment/FDA-2021-P-1347-0732

11 https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/332

12 https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-359025A1.pdf This paragraph has been updated from an earlier version.

13 Maryland is located in the Fourth Circuit of the federal appeals courts. This court has ruled against using “potential” health effects, or “concerns” about health effects as a basis for rejecting a permit; however that does not preclude placement decisions based upon actual health effects, known harms, or imminent harms. https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/626095/t-mobile-northeast-llc-v-city-of-newport-news/

14 https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/21/21- 629/196710/20211025140205639_Santa%20Fe%20Alliance%20Petition.pdf

15 https://techwisemocomd.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Why-Did-25-Wireless-Applications-with-Errors-Pass- MoCo-Tower-Committee-Review-Red3.pdf

16 See County tower database for examples: https://montgomerycountymd.gov/cable/Towers/database_towers.html

17 See page 124 https://montgomerycountytfcg.s3.amazonaws.com/Applications/MC2020031117+Application.pdf

18 “Conditional use” refers to permits that require public notice and a zoning hearing. ZTA 19-07 changed this setback from 300 feet to less than 30 feet.

19 “Limited use” refers to permits that may be issued without notice and without a zoning hearing. ZTA 19-07 reduced this setback from 300 feet to 30 feet or greater from any building intended for human occupation.

20 See page 54 https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2020/08/12/18-72689.pdf

21 Localities may charge fees to recover their costs. FCC established a “safe harbor”, meaning any fees at or below this amount are automatically presumed lawful without having to estimate costs. Prior to 19-07, the fee was $16,390 per application (see pdf page 7) https://apps.montgomerycountymd.gov/ccllims/DownloadFilePage?FileName=8356_1_5209_Resolution_18- 601_Adopted_20160913.pdf

There is no FCC requirement, no plausible legal justification.
It appears the purpose is yet another gratuitous handout to the wireless industry.

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 takomaparkmd.gov

 

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.

#30#

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.

  • CLICK HERE TO USE OUR 1-MINUTE TOOL TO EMAIL THE COUNCIL.

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.

 

Jan. 18th, 2022 Testimony for Montgomery County Council Hearings on Resolutions to Implement Rules and Fees Related to ZTA 19-07

Jan. 18th , 2022 Testimony for Montgomery County Council Hearings on Resolutions to Implement Rules and Fees Related to ZTA 19-07

Colleen Cordes, Takoma Park. Please reject both proposals to implement ZTA 19-07.

Instead, immediately rescind ZTA 19-07. Don’t implement it while the FCC is in the midst of responding to its new court mandate to come up with a well-reasoned explanation for whatever exposure limits for wireless radiation it endorses. This should require the FCC to thoroughly review ALL science related to the safety of its exposure limits for health and the environment – which should be aided by robust reviews from pertinent federal agencies. The FCC should then come up with new exposure limits that are fully supported by such thorough scientific review.

As a body, you should strongly advocate directly to the FCC and our Congressional delegation for such robust review of ALL the science – and truly protective new limits. And drop any idea of implementing ZTA 19-07. Its assumption that it’s safe to drastically weaken County rules for placing cell towers is now clearly obsolete.

In July, seven of you irresponsibly rushed to vote for this ZTA, even though you knew a US Court of Appeals was expected to rule within weeks against the FCC, due to the FCC’s obvious failure to provide evidence its wireless safety limits are well-grounded in science. Yet several of you assured your constituents that we could trust FCC limits to protect us.

Now it’s clear you were wrong. The validity of the FCC’s limits are absolutely up in the air. Read the court’s blistering ruling. It found that FCC showed no sign of having taken into account reams of submitted evidence on children’s special vulnerability to radiation, effects of long-term exposures, non-cancer effects, the proliferation of wireless since FCC set limits 25 years ago, and impacts to wildlife and the environment. Any legal pressure on you to pass weak new zoning rules – which was never as onerous as you imagined – is now much less. Instead, your moral and potential legal exposure is now much greater if you do not rescind this ZTA.

Please stand up for science. Rescind this ZTA. Press FCC, based on a thorough review of ALL the science, to issue a well-reasoned explanation for new exposure limits that are truly protective. Thank you.

***

An Unsupported Rationale: The So-Called Legal Case for Montgomery County’s ZTA 19-07 Falls Apart

July 12, 2021

Peter L. Kahn, J.D., Ph.D.
Montgomery County Resident

Summary

The County Council appears poised to adopt ZTA 19-07 in part because some members believe that doing so is legally required. That is simply not the case.

Give the Community a Voice: Support A Stakeholder Advisory Group.

E-MAIL THE COUNTY COUNCIL TODAY IN LESS THAN A MINUTE!

One basis for believing this is the FCC’s Small Cell Orders of 2018, which proposes a “material inhibition” standard for the courts to use in evaluating claims under Section 332 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 — in other words, does a denial of a permit for a cell antenna “materially inhibit” the placement or construction of wireless cell facilities. Most denials of permits will materially inhibit their placement, and thus this standard strongly favors the interests of telecom companies. However, literally no federal court has adopted this standard for cases under Section 332, and the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has made it clear that the FCC has no authority to change the federal courts’ interpretations of federal law. The standard that has always been used, and continues to be used, by the Courts of Appeals across the country is the “effective prohibition” standard. It asks, does this denial of permit effectively prohibit the provision of cell service? This is a much tougher standard for telecoms to meet, especially when cell service is already abundantly available from multiple carriers. But the “effective prohibition” standard continues to be applied by all the Courts of Appeals for such cases, and no court anywhere has abandoned that standard in favor of the FCC’s preferred “material inhibition” standard for cases under Section 332.

The other basis offered for believing that ZTA 19-07 is legally necessary is the recent case City of Portland v. FCC. In that case, the Ninth Circuit looked at proposed regulations arising under a completely different section of the Telecommunications Act, that is, Section 253. The court in that case applied a “material inhibition” standard, just as it always has in cases arising under Section 253. One might be forgiven for confusing the Section 253 “material inhibition” standard, with the FCC’s proposed “material inhibition” standard for Section 332, but in fact they have different origins. City of Portland did not deal with Section 332, and clearly did not adopt a “material inhibition” standard for Section 332 cases. The “effective prohibition” standard for cases under Section 332 remains in effect in every federal circuit, including the Ninth Circuit.

Section 332 of the Act specifically deals with the “placement, construction, or modification,” of personal wireless facilities — in other words, the very subject matter that the proposed ZTA 19-07 deals with. Any legal claims that might be prevented by the adoption of 19-07 would (in the absence of 19-07) be evaluated by the courts under the legal standard that has always been applied to Section 332 — in other words, the “effective prohibition” standard — because those claims would arise under Section 332, dealing with “placement, construction, or modification” of cell facilities. The FCC’s Small Cell Orders did not change that. The City of Portland case did not change that. Under every federal Court of Appeals in the country, cases dealing with “placement, construction, or modification” of cell facilities will be examined under Section 332 under an unchanged “effective prohibition” standard.

In Montgomery County, a telecom asking for review under Section 332’s “effective prohibition” standard is likely to lose. Our County already has excellent cell service. Just look at the coverage maps published on their websites by Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. It will be challenging for any permit applicant to claim seriously that our County has “effectively prohibited” cell service. In truth, we are in full compliance with federal law, and any legal claims against Montgomery County’s local governments will be very difficult for the telecom applicant to win.

Indeed, adopting ZTA 19-07 would itself be a massive change in the standards for cell placement — it would take away virtually all local control, and grant to any telecom the right to use any piece of public property it wishes. This would constitute a massive give-away of epic proportions to the telecom industry, and would be a policy and legal mistake of the first order.

Read the full PDF in the viewer below or download here.

 

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

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [216.39 KB]

“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.Albornoz@montgomerycountymd.gov
@albornoz_gabe

Councilmember Andrew Friedson 240-777-7828
Councilmember.Friedson@ montgomerycountymd.gov
@Andrew_Friedson

Councilmember Evan Glass 240-777-7966
Councilmember.Glass@montgomerycountymd.gov
@EvanMGlass

Tom Hucker (Council President) 240-777-7960
Councilmember.Hucker@montgomerycountymd.gov
@CmHucker

Councilmember Will Jawando 240-777-7811
Councilmember.Jawando@montgomerycountymd.gov
@willjawando

Councilmember Sidney Katz 240-777-7906
Councilmember.Katz@montgomerycountymd.gov
@MC_Council_Katz

Councilmember Nancy Navarro 240-777-7968
Councilmember.Navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov
@nancy_navarro

Councilmember Craig Rice (ZTA 19-07 co-sponsor) 240-777-7955
Councilmember.Rice@montgomerycountymd.gov
@RicePolitics

Councilmember Hans Riemer (ZTA 19-07 Lead Sponsor) 240-777-7964
Councilmember.Riemer@montgomerycountymd.gov
@hansriemer


Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich 240-777-2500
marc.elrich@montgomerycountymd.gov
@MontCoExec

Research Indicates that Trees are Harmed by Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation: Tell MoCo Leaders to Protect Trees in Our Neighborhoods!

RF Radiation Likely Harms Trees — Take Action to Protect Trees Now!

The dense network of small-cell towers on poles in front of our homes that proposed County ZTA 19-07 promotes will require pruning and removal of untold number of trees. (Professional arborists’ rule of thumb is that if more than 25% of a tree canopy is to be pruned at any one time, the whole tree should be cut down. Even worse, research indicates that the trees left behind that are close to antennas would also be harmed from constant exposure to radio-frequency radiation.

Consider the independent research below related to the impacts on trees:

 

Take Action to Protect Trees Now!

Urgent Action: Cell Towers Coming to #MoCo Homes if ZTA 19-07 passes. Please share widely

Tech Wise MoCo MD news banner

Dear Mo Co Friends and Neighbors,

This is it! The Mo Co Council is set to hold a work session on ZTA 19-07 that, if passed:

  • Allows short “small” cell towers—also called wireless transmission facilities—to be placed as close as 30 feet—or less—from our homes.
  • Our street lights can be replaced with these cell towers.
  • Our utility poles can be replaced with these cell towers.
  • No required notice or public hearing so long as they are 30 feet from homes!

Opposed to the removal of our right to participate in the decision making process?

We need you to take action. Join us! Sign our petition to County leaders opposing the ZTA.

History of the bill

In January of this year Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer re-introduced Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 19-07 that will allow small cell towers—also called wireless transmission facilities—to be placed as close as 30 feet—or less—from our homes. The PHED (Planning, Housing and Economic Development) Committee made additional changes that allowed existing street lights and utility poles to be replaced by stronger, wider poles to hold the cell antennas and heavy equipment. This bill has been rejected 5 times over the last 5 years but Councilmember Riemer keeps bringing it back.

Read MC4T’s SUMMARY OF What’s in ZTA 19-07: Montgomery County Council Poised to Vote on Radical ZTA 19-07 – IMPOSES CELL TOWERS NEAR HOMES – WITH NO MINIMUM SETBACKS!

We strongly oppose this bill and hope you will also.

Below are top issues raised around the World, the U.S. and by your Montgomery County neighbors about wireless installations—especially 5G—placed so close to homes:

  • Loss of local control over our historic rights of way in our own communities.
  • Eliminates resident voice in plans for cell towers; no resident notification and no public hearing required about cell towers in residential areas if placed 30 feet or more from homes.
  • Where 5G coverage is desired, it may be supplied from 5G signal transmitted from 3,000 feet up to 3 miles or more from antennas to homes.
  • 5G coverage already exists in many parts of the County. Check the coverage map for T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon.
  • 5G is NOT faster.
  • 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.”
  • Concerns about compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA).
  • “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.”
  • MoCo has demonstrated a total lack of transparency and accountability with these local cell towers so far; this will just get worse as the number of small cell antennas vastly expands.
  • Bias towards industry—and its 5G propaganda—is short-circuiting elected officials’ duty to prioritize public interests.
  • The insurance industry will not insure cell towers, antennas, poles, wires, and devices due to the health risks and damages from long term exposure.
  • 255 leading scientists and experts in Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) from 45 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 January 14, 2021.
  • As of June 2021, 301,023 signatories from 214 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.

Montgomery County residents have continuously and strongly opposed the previous as well as the current proposed ZTA. Here are video-recordings from the two most recent public hearings:

Watch these informative presentations on the issues surrounding the ZTA:

Join our Petition to STOP the Cell Tower ZTA 19-07. It just takes a minute!

You may also contact the Mo Co Councilmembers directly by phone or individual emails.

However you contact the Council, please make sure you do it TODAY!

Contact us to be added to our e-News & Action Alerts. We will post many updates, including on upcoming public hearings, in these alerts.

 

For those who have asked how to help, please contact us if you are interested in receiving flyers and yard signs for your neighborhood. We also have PDF flyers and handouts available to download.

Share this email with with your Mo Co friends and neighbors.

Thank you,

Team Tech Wise Mo Co MD

Tech Wise Montgomery County Maryland logo

TechWiseMoCoMD.org

Montgomery County Coalition to Protect Neighborhoods

Urgent Action: Cell Towers Coming to #MoCo Homes if ZTA 19-07 passes. Please share widely

Tech Wise MoCo MD news banner

Dear Mo Co Friends and Neighbors,

This is it! The Mo Co Council is set to hold a work session on ZTA 19-07 that

  • Allows short “small” cell towers—also called wireless transmission facilities—to be placed as close as 30 feet—or less—from our homes.
  • Our street lights can be replaced with these cell towers.
  • Our utility poles can be replaced with these cell towers.
  • No required notice or public hearing so long as they are 30 feet from homes!

Opposed to the removal of our right to participate in the decision making process?

We need you to take action. Join us! Sign our petition to County leaders opposing the ZTA.

History of the bill

In January of this year Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer re-introduced Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 19-07 that will allow small cell towers—also called wireless transmission facilities—to be placed as close as 30 feet—or less—from our homes. The PHED (Planning, Housing and Economic Development) Committee made additional changes that allowed existing street lights and utility poles to be replaced by stronger, wider poles to hold the cell antennas and heavy equipment. This bill has been rejected 5 times over the last 5 years but Councilmember Riemer keeps bringing it back.

We strongly oppose this bill and hope you will also.

Montgomery County residents have continuously and strongly opposed the previous as well as the current proposed ZTA. Here are video-recordings from the two most recent public hearings:

Watch these informative presentations on the issues surrounding the ZTA:

Join our Petition to STOP the Cell Tower ZTA 19-07. It just takes a minute!

You may also contact the Mo Co Council members directly by phone or individual emails.

Use your address to find your district here.

However you contact the Council, please make sure you do it TODAY!

Contact us to be added to our e-News & Action Alerts. We will post many updates, including on upcoming public hearings, in these alerts.

For those who have asked how to help, please contact us if you are interested in receiving flyers and yard signs for your neighborhood. We also have PDF flyers and handouts available to download.

Share this email with with your Mo Co friends and neighbors.

Thank you,

Team Tech Wise Mo Co MD

Tech Wise Montgomery County Maryland logo

TechWiseMoCoMD.org

Montgomery County Coalition to Protect Neighborhoods