SB 649, which removes from cities the regulation of cell phone towers in the public right-of-way and on city property.
Exceptions for historic zones and Coastal Zone are included, but scenic highways and R zones are not included. Local control should be maintained. Cities have capability to properly analyze applications within existing laws and balance protection of neighborhoods with the need for increased wireless capacity.
Status: Senate approved bill, which is similar to a bill from last year. Assembly will consider it next. Telecom companies need more pole space and facilities for 5G capacity.
Sizes of cell panels are big (6 cu. ft.) and sizes of equipment panels are big (21 cu.ft.), and can be reduced.
Telecom companies can spend more money to rent space on existing public poles (streetlights, etc.).
Opponents to bill include 100 cities, League of California Cities, League of California Counties, American Planning Institute.