Commentary: City Wants to Tell Crown Castle Where To Stick It… But Can’t

Crown-Castle-7

I greatly sympathize with the predicament both the city and residents are in with regard to the Crown Castle proposal.  On the one hand, I believe in local control and that a city and a community should have the right to determine whether or not we need a communications array.  That’s why the city had the foresight to create its Telecommunications Ordinance.

Unfortunately, and I think the speakers on Tuesday were largely correct, that strong monied interests were able to lobby Congress and the State Legislature to give these telecommunications companies special status and usurp the right of local control.

But we are not arguing this before Congress – if we were, this would be a no-brainer.  Instead, we are determining what the city can do and, frankly, there is not much.

What that means is that City Attorney Harriet Steiner and Mayor Joe Krovoza are largely correct that the chances of prevailing in court are small.  The risk to the city is great.

Many citizens stepped forward and believe that we should fight anyway.  If this were a different time, I might be inclined to agree.  Take it to the Supreme Court, get them to rule in favor of local control and self-determination.  Unfortunately, in the next few years we are going to be closing pools and parks.  We are going to be laying people off.

And the question a reasonable person might ask is how many people should have to be laid off so that Sally doesn’t have to view a seven-foot extension on the telephone poll across the way.  No one wants to think in those terms, but that is why we elect officials, to make those tough choices.

It is called leadership, and sometimes leadership means you have to make tough choices that anger your residents and voters.

The mayor said pointedly, “I don’t believe this community can even begin to afford going into a lawsuit on this matter. ” He added: “It would be frivolous, unnecessary and I’m not going to put staff time into that or the citizens’ money into that… Lots of things are going to fall off the budget in June and that’s at the top of my mind.”

It is here where unfortunately we have to look at the three councilmembers who are up for reelection.  This was a tough vote, but Councilmember Stephen Souza made the tough vote, arguing, “I am convinced, looking at the case law, we will lose local control, we will lose all say.”

Sue Greenwald understood it, as well, “To me it’s just a calculation.  How do we best protect our citizens? And what’s the best outcome we can get in this very, very imperfect and unfair world where local authority has been taken away from us?”

While Sue Greenwald felt the best approach was to make it as difficult and onerous as possible, Dan Wolk got to play to the crowd, arguing that he would be willing to stand up for the city’s rights.

He said, “I respect where my colleagues are coming from, (but) for the reasons I stated last time, I’m going to be voting no on this.  For me it’s just a matter of principle and a matter of local control.”

But did Mr. Wolk respect his colleagues views, as he suggests?  One could argue he put them in an impossible position.  One of the public commenters even praised his courage.

But this wasn’t courage.  It was pure political calculus on his part.  Courage is making the tough vote, even when it is unpopular.  This is a free vote for him.  He gets to grandstand and play to the crowd.   Why?

Because he knew that he would be the one vote against moving the project forward.  And so long as he was going to be in the minority, it’s a free vote for him.  He gets to be righteously indignant while at the same time knowing that he faced no legal jeopardy because his colleagues would not allow that to happen.

In the process, he showed up both Stephen Souza and Sue Greenwald, who had to cast the tough vote rather than risk costing the city hundreds of thousands in legal expenses, risk losing whatever say the city might have in terms of time and place restrictions, and most importantly, risk the jobs of city employees.

In principle, in a perfect world, in a better economic time, we would be right behind Dan Wolk on this.  But not now.  This is not a vote for courage, this is a vote for political expediency that has no real consequence, because no one was going to call him on it.

There is, however, another way to go about this. It would have to come from the residents of this community, not the city council.

The DAS communications array is being built at the behest of Metro PCS.  Crown Castle, much like Dan Wolk, gets a free ride here.  There is no jeopardy for them.  They are simply the middle man.  It doesn’t matter how many people are angered by them because they have no product to sell and answer only to the people that hire them to construct the DAS array.

But Metro PCS is another animal altogether.  They have customers in this community who utilize their services.  They can be pressured to stop this project.

As Frank Chastino from Village Homes Homeowners association pointed out, Metro PCS is trying to have their cake and eat it too.

They are arguing that they provide great coverage in Davis.  They do that on their website.  At the same time, Crown Castle is arguing that there are gaps in the coverage that this array will fix.  It’s an incongruent argument that they can be called on.

“They have been advertising to this community that they have great service,” he said.  “They have been selling this product to the community saying that they have great service.”

“So, for them to come to us now and say that they don’t have great service and this is why they are putting these poles up – this is fraud,” he said.

As Kim, another long-time Davis resident, noted, Metro PCS has the best coverage but significant gaps in coverage, and stated, “the two don’t meld together.”

Council cannot suggest to the public to start hammering Metro PCS, but we can.  If you want to fight this, they are the weak link in the chain, because, unlike Crown Castle that is invulnerable to legislative, legal and economic pressure, Metro PCS has to do business in this community and therefore this community can put the pressure on them to tell Crown Castle to back off.

I won’t call for a boycott of Metro PCS; I doubt if it would work anyway.  But a slew of angry emails and calls might have a big impact.

It is a better approach and has a chance at least to work.

The other interesting link in the chain is that one of the consultants for Crown Castle is Richard Harris.  Richard Harris, of course, has done a good job as a school board member helping to shepherd the district through a daunting economic and fiscal situation.  However, he too has vulnerabilities, as he is at least ostensibly up for reelection this fall.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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46 Comments

  1. JustSaying

    “What that means is that City Attorney Harriet Steiner and Mayor Joe Krovoza are largely correct that the chances of prevailing in court are small.  The risk to the city is great.”

    Here’s the key. Has Harriet made this case adequately and in public?

    Wow! What virulent view of Dan Wolk’s opinions on this issue! Quite an over the top commentary even though your “reasonable person” opinion is that this is just about the view out Sally’s window.

    And, aparently, just because his opinion is different than yours since you offer not a scintilla to support his supposed calculating, “grandstanding,” “crowd-playing,” unrespectful, “rightously indignant” display of political cowardice. He might simply be an attorney with a different view.

    On the other hand, that doesn’t explain your rage since you claim to agree with the principle for which he’s taken his stand. “… in a better economic time, we would be right behind Dan Wolk on this,” you note. It’s just the “timing,” you say, and go on your rabid rant. Who is really short on principle here?

    You think Sue’s plan to invite an expensive lawsuit is a smarter and an honorable stand to take, voting “yes” while demandind the City Staff makes things “as difficult and onerous as possible” for the company to proceed with their project.

    I can’t figure out why you appreciate and prefer her devious position–involving as much “playing to the crowd” and for which the company now can start preparing its suit–Instead of taking her own principled’ yet free, “no” vote.

    It’s difficult whether to suggest that Highbeam get to work (“spell check” won’t do this massive job) or that Don just pull the whole thing down (as an unwarranted personal attack). Really!

  2. JustSaying

    “And, apparently, just because his opinion is different….” “…voting ‘yes’ while demanding the city staff….” “…the company now can start preparing its suit–instead of taking her own principled, yet free, ‘no’ vote.”

    Wouldn’t usually need to worry about such fixes, but…. Seriously.

  3. Barbara King

    I think the City of Davis, other cities, and citizens should pressure our senators and representatives to change the law that is limiting what the city can do. Of course, that would take time and may well not help our situation right now.

    So, in the meantime, would it be possible to add something into the Crown Castle permits that says the permits become void and the poles, etc. must be removed at Crown Castle’s expense when the law that is forcing the city’s hand changes or goes away?

  4. Frankly

    Emotional intelligence is apparently lacking in this community. For those of us having more of it, we are somewhat embarrassed for those demonstrating the deficiency… especially when the demonstrator possesses a high IQ and impressive academic credentials.

    The arguments against Crown Castle’s project are primarily emotional. There is absolutely zero evidence of health impacts from wireless communication poles. There is absolutely no legal ground to block the project. There is absolutely no entitlement for preventing the standard and typical components of modern communication infrastructure on public land and on public easements of private land.

    What we are left are arguments from people that have worked themselves up to an emotional tantrum over what would be an insignificant and normal impact their municipal lives. Think about all the infrastructure in a city like San Francisco. How come those residents accept it as a way of life?

    Too many in this town have lost perspective. They are emotional statists and NIMBY whiners.

    Get a grip folks. Learn to understand when you emotions are getting the best of you and try to control yourselves. We need wireless communication and it requires a few poles to be installed.

  5. Rifkin

    [i]”As [b]Frank Chastino[/b] from Village Homes Homeowners association pointed out, Metro PCS is trying to have their cake and eat it too.”[/i]

    It is Giustino, not Chastino. Although he has awesome hair* and looks like he belongs on a pirate ship, I believe Mr. Giustino operates a window-cleaning company.

    *Jealous? Yes!

  6. Rifkin

    [i]”The arguments against Crown Castle’s project are primarily emotional.”[/i]

    Yes, but … Before Crown Castle hired Richard Harris, they (as well as their predecessor New Path) were behaving poorly. They were not trying to make their entry into Davis smooth. They were willing to harm the property values of others, bullying their way in, to avoid very small lease fees.

    Here is a story I recently heard: Crown Castle wants to place a node on W. 8th Streee, west of Elmwood Drive, near the Mormon church. Their plan is to erect a new utility pole there in the public right of way, because one does not exist in that spot. That pole would be an eyesore. And it is completely unnecessary. The City said to Crown Castle: you can place your node on the water tower. But Crown has chosen not to play ball–although that may be changing–and has said, “Shove that water tower up your ###.” Why did Crown object to the water tower, which is a stone’s throw away? Because by installing a pole in the right of way, Crown gets that spot rent-free. On the water tower, it would have to pay the City a small lease fee each month. So really, who lacks the couth in that situation?

  7. Frankly

    That is my point Rich. A pole might be considered an eyesore to some, but it is standard urban living stuff. Move to the country if you don’t like the standard urban living stuff. It is emotional and not rational to expect a pole-free life.

  8. Rifkin

    A company which practices “good corporate citizenship” will try to find a solution which (at least most of) the citizens can live with. A bad corporate citizen runs roughshod over anyone else’s concerns if they can get away with it. In my opinion, the City of Davis needs to make every effort to work with (not against) Crown Castle, so that their project meets the needs of Metro PCS and any other tenants Crown will have down the line, with the least imposition on the people of Davis. It helps no one for Crown to play the bully. It helps no one for the City of Davis to be uncooperative.

  9. JustSaying

    The emotional feelings about this are understandable, I guess, although most of us likely will not see the what primarily will be fairly limited visual blight.

    It would be nice to be really confident that Harriet is correct that there’s no chance the city has a case. But, with the exception of Dan, the council accepts the interpretation that the city doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

    It’s difficult to understand, then, why Sue wants to approve the request but then make their Davis business as “difficult and onerous as possible” once they show up and why David urges a campaign to make the company miserable generally.

    I agree with Rich that any such purposeful trouble-making is a worthless undertaking and probably counter-productive.

  10. David M. Greenwald

    JustSaying: I note those are my words paraphrasing her position, not hers.

    I don’t understand however why it’s so difficult to understand once you realize that no one wants to be told what they have to do.

  11. Matt Williams

    Jeff Boone said . . .

    [i]”That is my point Rich. A pole might be considered an eyesore to some, but it is standard urban living stuff. Move to the country if you don’t like the standard urban living stuff. It is emotional and not rational to expect a pole-free life.”[/i]

    Jeff, I think you are practicing a bit of hyperbole. Davis passed over a decade ago an Underground Utilities Ordinance in order to minimize visual blight. We still have to have street light poles, but other than that there really aren’t many vertical structures on our streets other than those places where the poles existed before the Underground Ordinance was passed.

    As I’ve said before, in addition to the points Rich Rifkin has made about Crown Castle’s unwillingness to meet the City on any form of middle ground, the biggest problem I have with their application is that they haven’t standardized on a single design and single level of technology. If an applicant came into get a building permit and told the City that “it might be this, or it might be that, or it might be something different in the future” they would be told to come back when their application was complete. Why isn’t Crown Castle being held to the same standard as all other Davis residents and businesses are being held to?

  12. Sue Greenwald

    [quote]It’s difficult to understand, then, why Sue wants to approve the request but then make their Davis business as “difficult and onerous as possible”–[b]JustSaying[/b][/quote]You are quoting David Greenwald’s interpretation of what I was saying, not what I said.

  13. concernedcitizen

    @David Greenwald: I suppose this is a commentary piece, but I’m not a fan of judging people’s motives without something to back it up. It just doesn’t seem right to me.

    Regarding Crown Castle, I hear the concerns about a pole being erected. With that said, we live in a technological era. I wonder, as someone else said in response to a previous story, what the demographics were for those who oppose Crown Castle?

    Overall, my response is that I wish there was a way to turn the negativity often expressed at Council meetings into something positive. Just imagine the progress we could make regarding all sorts of issues if people used their energy to devise solutions instead of complain.

  14. Frankly

    [i]”Why isn’t Crown Castle being held to the same standard as all other Davis residents and businesses are being held to?”[/i]

    Matt, I don’t know what else if anything is motivating Crown to not commit to a particular design other than the fact that this area of technology is constantly changing with new products on the market. They would want to exploit the best technology at the time they need to purchase it.

    Part of the reason that so many government technology projects fail is that it takes so damn long to appropriate the technology that it is obsolete before it can be implemented.

  15. Frankly

    I need to add this point to the previous…

    At some point you need to commit to a choice of technology, but you are foolish to do it before necessary.

  16. Matt Williams

    Jeff, while I understand your point, there really is no logical reason why Crown Castle, who will be installing all 27 antennas at the exact same time, can not settle on a common design and technology platform for all 27 poles. That is not much to ask at all.

  17. Dave Hart

    I’ve been reading all the blog entries on this issue and I surmise it boils down to the aesthetics of the project. DAS or Crown Castle at public meetings has stated the transmitter power is about 100 watts per pole. That is not a very powerful source of radiation. I can’t buy the health impact arguments at this point.

    That leaves the visual. As I understand it, the poles have internal wiring so they are less of an eyesore than the power lines along Covell Blvd. As much as I hate to say it, I have to agree with Jeff Boone. I don’t get the aversion to this project. I can’t even agree that they all need to look the same. What’s wrong with diversity? (A small joke, there)

    The only argument I could make against the project is that it seems like this project is designed to meet the needs of wireless users who don’t want to be tethered to cable or fiber optic solutions commonly found inside homes. I do wonder why there has to be so much catering to the wireless handheld devices. Streaming large amounts of data is an advantage to people in their cars or walking or biking. Which means they aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. I guess it is also an advantage to people who don’t mind paying $100/month for 4G wireless instead of a cable connection.

    Am I off target? If what I said is basically correct, I really don’t understand the upset in the community.

  18. Frankly

    Matt, there very well could be a reason based on coverage and distance between poles. I think they could provide examples of what types of equipment exists today, and maybe the choices available today. My sense is that they are smart to not open that box knowing that anything they present will result in opposition. However, I’m sure that their refusal to commit to a design is causing more trust issues.

    I think the bigger question is why do we have these conflicts. I remember in the mid 1990s having really crappy cell coverage and no broadband in West Davis. The city council blocked a project application from Verizon to put up an antenna. I talked to Comcast and Pac Bell about DSL service, and I got high up the management chain of command to learn that Davis was at the bottom of the list because of the added difficulty getting permits and dealing with hostile city employees and residents. I ended up with a very expensive and latent satellite broadband, and then a very expensive and unreliable WiFi broadband with their repeater antenna inside the clock tower of the Westlake Market (because God forbid someone see a box on the ouside of the tower!).

    From the big picture view, this Crown Castle conflict just contributes to the hostile-to-buisiness reputation our city has earned. We are a city with a prestigeous research univeristy. We should have top-level network communications services.

  19. Matt Williams

    Jeff, the reasons that Crown castle has given for the multiple designs has been “some are for single carrier (what they currently need to support their one carrier metroPCS) others are for varying levels of carriers up to as many as 6. The [u]only[/u] reason they have even mentioned the whip antenna that supports a single carrier is to have at least one unobtrusive design. My question to them is [i]”why don’t you come clean and agree that you are going to simply install the 6 carrier design universally?”[/i] Their behavior is reptilian. They remind me of Bonasera.

    Their mixing and matching designs gets further compounded when they get all penny-wise and pound foolish whenever there is a wooden telephone pole. Again standardization would get them a long way in reducing resistance. The multi-finned configurations when they use the wooden poles could easily be less obtrusive if they simply installed a street light and used the standard street deployment at all 27 locations. I kno some speakers have referred to them as “butt ugly” but compared to the finned additions to wooden poles they are Picasos.

    As I said above they have a Bonasera complex, but maybe like Bonasera they will do what they need to do to show they are willing to do what is necessary to be a community member in good standing.

  20. Don Shor

    When Johnson Enterprises installed the cable network in Davis in the 1980’s, they trenched through every street in town, and a significant number of the front yards in order to place those funky little green boxes and provide cable up to buildings. Within a day of commencing operations they had ticked off so many people, and fielded so many irate phone calls, that they put our nursery on retainer to answer the calls, provide shrubbery to screen the offending R2D2 things, and fix lawns and ground covers. They budgeted a reasonable cost per unit, and we just billed them.

    In that vein, I suggest that offending poles can readily be screened with foliage in nearly every situation where it bothers someone to look at it. There are plenty of plants with strongly vertical growth habit (Italian cypress, Fastigiate hornbeam) or relatively upright evergreen shrubs (Rhamnus alternus, Viburnum tinus ‘Robustum’) that would work even in small yards. If someone wants a solution, there is one. Many utility companies provide trees or credits for trees for situations where their wires are an issue.

    [i]Move to the country if you don’t like the standard urban living stuff.[/i]
    Rural residents put up with a lot more intrusion than you might think, ranging from crop dusters, tractors, night-time pesticide applications, dust, generators for irrigation systems, controlled burns and burn piles, dust, hunters, explosions (scares away crows), dust, easements for irrigation districts, and plenty of power lines. Did I mention dust?
    And our internet and phone service has generally been very limited. Though any rural residents who are within the range of Winters Broadband should give them a try.

  21. jimt

    “The arguments against Crown Castle’s project are primarily emotional. There is absolutely zero evidence of health impacts from wireless communication poles. There is absolutely no legal ground to block the project.”

    Acute exposure has been tested, and acute side effects are minimal at power densities that would be present nearby an emitting pole transmitter.
    However, chronic exposure effects are much more difficult to test. My understanding is that there are experimental designs to test for chronic exposure using an ‘accelerated’ test regime, however such accelerated testing models are not always reliable re: long-term effects on humans.
    Medwoman: care to comment?

    In addition to ramming these microwave towers thru; we can also be grateful to corporate America (PG&E, specifically) for ramming thru their smart meters; which blast microwave transmissions at regular time intervals a few times per hour. You (or your neighbor) may have one a few feet outdoors a few feet from your bedroom or your childs bedroom; the typical exterior wall is quite transparent to these microwaves. Again, testing shows little evidence for harm for acute exposure; but the effects of chronic exposure are highly uncertain (particularly if the meter is located near a persons bedroom). If you go to considerable time, trouble, and expense you may be able to opt out of the program and get your analog meter back; but PG&E will certainly not ask for your permission ahead of time; they will go ahead and install their micro-wave blasting stupo-meter on your property whether you want them to or not.

  22. medwoman

    jimt

    Unfortunately, the answer at this time would seem to be “we don’t know”. You are correct about the lack of information regarding chronic exposure. I would not assume that the lack of proof of adverse effect equates to reassurance that there is no adverse effect. A succinct summary of information from my field follows:

    The reproductive risk of nonionizing radiation (eg, electromagnetic fields emitted from computers, microwave communication systems and ovens, power lines, cellular phones, household appliances, heating pads and warming blankets, airport screening devices for metal objects) has been studied extensively. The Oak Ridge Associated University panel and a committee of the National Academy of Sciences both concluded that the reproductive risk of nonionizing radiation is minimal or nonexistent [74].

    Having said that, we would not treat introduction of a new medication or new immunization in such a cavalier manner. We would expect literally years of testing to demonstrate not just efficacy, but also safety before we allowed it to appear on the market. This is clearly not how our society has decided to proceed with these devices, for better or worse.

    Jeff

    “Move to the country if you don’t like the standard urban living stuff.”

    You and I have been through this conversation before and Elaine called us on it. Could one not just as easily use the dismissive statement ” Move to the big city if you don’t like the small city ambience.” ?

    The point that your arguments miss, from my point of view, is that there are many areas in which one can have the full technological advantages of big city life. There are fewer and fewer areas in existence where one can enjoy a lower key, more aesthetically pleasing( to some) lifestyle. Many of us who chose Davis did so for precisely this ambience and do not appreciate our community being asked to change to suit those who move here and then want this town to look exactly like every other place.

    As for your comment “We need wireless communication and it requires a few poles to be installed.” I disagree. We do not “need” it. We want it. We already have wireless communication in this city. Some people want an upgrade. That is a far different matter from a need.
    I do not necessarily agree with, but definitely understand the concerns of those who see these as an unnecessary trampling of their preferences for the questionable improvement of circumstances for a minority of the community and a company.

  23. Frankly

    Medwoman: fair enough. I just think some of us are a bit unreasonable in what we demand as being aesthetically pleasing. I am typing this looking out the windows of my cabin in a much smaller town and there are service polls all around mixed in with all the trees. I find them aesthetically pleasing… almost comforting. There is a railroad track about 6 blocks away that my wife and I love to visit and walk on. I find train tracks very aesthetically pleasing and comforting. The fact is that we get used to our landscape including all the man-made components. If we live an urban life, there are certain things we should expect in our landscape. It is great that we have decided to bury our wires, but you cannot bury wireless. I think the city should have a big say in pole placement and there should be some contraints on design; but these are proxy issues for the opposition. As you point out in your comment that “we do not need” wireless communication service enhancements that this would bring, most of the opposition is hell bent on blocking the installation entirely. That is unreasonable and a common disturbing practice that Davis is known for. As I see it, it is this type of unreasonable expectation that we can control so much related to commerce and keep the entire city looking like some funky French farming village that has greatly contributed to our dismal city budget situation.

  24. Frankly

    Don: [i]”When Johnson Enterprises installed the cable network in Davis in the 1980’s…[/i]

    I remember this time. It is another example of Davisites just complaining no matter what the project is. However, I like and agree with your ideas for using foilage to help mitigate view issues.

    Me: [i]”Move to the country if you don’t like the standard urban living stuff.”[/i]

    Don: [i]”Rural residents put up with a lot more intrusion than you might think, ranging from crop dusters, tractors, night-time pesticide applications, dust, generators for irrigation systems, controlled burns and burn piles, dust, hunters, explosions (scares away crows), dust, easements for irrigation districts, and plenty of power lines. Did I mention dust?”[/i]

    Good points. You get used to these things… maybe except the dust. But living on the outskirts of town, we get a lot of field dust too. Paradise always has its cost!

    Don: [i]”And our internet and phone service has generally been very limited. Though any rural residents who are within the range of Winters Broadband should give them a try.”[/i]

    Until 7-8 years ago much of West Davis had to rely on the same services as rural residents. I agree that Winters Broadband is a good company. Note that they use wifi technology that requires towers.

  25. medwoman

    Jeff

    “I am typing this looking out the windows of my cabin in a much smaller town “

    I am making an assumption here so please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. Since you are at a cabin in a smaller town, I presume that you keep it, and go to it at least in part for relaxation and getting away at least temporarily from a more urban lifestyle. You and I have an advantage that many others do not have. The financial ability to get away from the conditions of modern urban life. Many people are not so economically advantaged. Some of these folks probably chose Davis as their home at least in part because they wanted to live in an environment closer to what those more fortunate of us can afford to maintain, as in cabins, or second homes, or escape to on vacation. I think we should at least consider that for some of these folks, their resistance to change is indeed a reflection of their desire to preserve as much as possible of a lifestyle that they cannot acquire any other way than defending their own home from undesired urbanization.

  26. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]dmg: I don’t understand however why it’s so difficult to understand once you realize that no one wants to be told what they have to do.[/quote]

    LOL This coming from someone who wants the city to ban plastic or paper bags? There are many citizens who do not want to be told what to do in regard to plastic/paper bag usage, no? You cannot have it both ways.

    Don Shor has some excellent and very helpful suggestions on how to hide the antenna nodes. However, I agree with Matt, that if there is the possibility of 6 antennae on a carrier requiring an ugly configuration, Crown Castle ought to be up front about it.

  27. Frankly

    Is there some FCC regulation about the need to support multiple carriers? As I recall, owners of communication infrastructure have to allow for multiple carriers. CC might not be in complete control of this decision.

    Medwoman: You make a good point about some Davisites not able to afford something like our vary modest cabin (currently valued about the same price as the new luxury cars driven by some UCD execs) where we can “get away”. We do enjoy a bit more peace and quite here (many fewer fire department sirens for example), but the main reason we acquired it is for the access to Lake Alamnor and the surrounding public forest land and Lassen National Park. We have various offroad vehicles, personal watercraft and boats that we like to use. These are hardly “peace and quite” activities. But, I very much like fly fishing down the middle of the Feather River. I can get lost in the process of fishing and nature and lose complete track of time.

    Note that rentals, hotels and bed-and-breakfast venues are available up here and are all very reasonably priced. There are fantastic RV and camping facilities around the lake and these are very affordable, My point is that we all need to get away and it can be done on the cheap. We don’t need to combine the expectation that our urban life is also our vacation destination. I think that is an unsustainable expectation.

  28. Matt Williams

    Jeff, I’m not sure what the FCC regulation(s) might be, but regardless of what they are they point out the disingenuousness of Crown Castle. What they have provided to the City covers a range of carrier sizes from 1 to 6, as well as a different design configuration for a metal pole vs. a wooden pole. Is it too much to ask them to standardize on metal poles and a set number of carriers? I don’t think so.

  29. medwoman

    Jeff

    “We don’t need to combine the expectation that our urban life is also our vacation destination. I think that is an unsustainable expectation”

    Well there is a point of fundamental disagreement we have. I fail to see why one would need “to get away” if where one lived remained a pleasant non stressful environment, which is certainly a viable choice. After all some of those quaint villages in Europe that you sometimes speak of rather flippantly, have chosen to remain so for centuries. Sounds sustainable to me.

  30. Rifkin

    Meds, I love those European villages of which you speak reverently:

    [img]http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2006/11/21/1121borat_village_wideweb__470x348,0.jpg[/img]

  31. medwoman

    Rifs

    Nice pic. You are at an unfair advantage. My computer skills are severely lacking. I need a tutorial so that I too can post nifty pictures!

  32. Frankly

    Can a city install their own service poles on public land and then lease space to the carriers? I know private land owners can do this and it is advisable if they own land with an advantageous location for wireless carriers.

    Medwoman: Interesting article in the Enterprise, I think, about the recent trends for people moving from the suburbs back to the city.

  33. Frankly

    Concerning those European villagers…

    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscjeff/borattower.jpg[/img]

    Points related to this view that Davis can be like some small European village:

    – Much of the revered Europe is far ahead of the US in wireless technology infrastructure.

    – European lifestyle has been proven unsustainable many, many times… and is currently again.

    – Davis is a small city that swells to 85-90k people during school. What small European village that matches our population should we model? I think those in love with this view are mistakenly matching Davis to a much smaller town model.

  34. medwoman

    Jeff

    ” Davis is a small city that swells to 85-90k people during school. What small European village that matches our population should we model? I think those in love with this view are mistakenly matching Davis to a much smaller town model.”

    I could not agree more. And I would like to point out that any references likening peoples “love for this view” of Davis have been made by you and only addressed in response by me. I do not believe for one moment that
    preferring that Davis not morph into Vacaville, or even Folsom, means that anyone wants it to be a European
    village. That is your fantasy about how we think.

    “European lifestyle has been proven unsustainable many, many times… and is currently again. “

    I genuinely do not know what you mean by this. There are many different cultures contributing to what we refer to as “European”. They all have their strong and weak points just as we do. For example, just as you said,
    “Much of the revered Europe is far ahead of the US in wireless technology infrastructure.” I am sure that we could both name other areas in which they also are ahead of the US. From my field, prevention of unintended pregnancy and neonatal death rates come to mind. I am sure we could both name areas in which the US excels. “Lifestyle” is a matter of preference. I personally would prefer that we have great wireless technology,
    and what I consider a great small city ambience. It doesn’t seem to me that we need to “model ourselves” on anyone, European or otherwise to get there. Being respectful of each others preferences and moving slowly and deliberately seems to me to be a wise course of action.

  35. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Can a city install their own service poles on public land and then lease space to the carriers? I know private land owners can do this and it is advisable if they own land with an advantageous location for wireless carriers. [/quote]

    Jeff, I don’t think it would make any difference, since in public utility rights of way, companies like Crown Castle appear to have the right to do what they want. My guess is if the city erected their own poles in the utility rights of way, Crown Castle would install their own poles rather than pay a lease fee to the city to piggyback on the city’s poles. This is why the city is in such a difficult position here…

  36. Frankly

    Elaine, unless I am mistaken, Crown Castle is in the busines of installing and owning the infrastructure and then leasing space/capacity to the carriers. If we, the city of Davis, installed and owned our own infrastructure, then we could compete with Crown Castle leasing space/capacity. We could make it economically unfeasible for Crown Castle to invest in this project.

  37. medwoman

    Jeff

    Please correct me if I am wrong. Did I just hear you say, that we “the city of Davis” as a collective, public group, thought it was in “our” best interest, we could enact a publiclly owned and operated system that would make it economically unfeasible for a private company to operate here ? This sounds perilously close to something I might say.

  38. Frankly

    LOL! Yes, medwoman I am suggesting the public collective own the infrastructure so we can better control the aesthetics since this seems to be the sticking point with the opposition. I don’t know if there is precedence for an approach like this. I also don’t know how we could fund it other than a bond. However, if Crown Castle is making money then the business model must be sound.

    I guess I have a greater acceptance of public-owned instrustructure business because there tends to be less natural competition. For example, I support SMUD as an alternative to PG&E.

    Besides, I am practical too. There is the rule “if you can’t beat em’ join em'”! 😉

  39. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Elaine, unless I am mistaken, Crown Castle is in the busines of installing and owning the infrastructure and then leasing space/capacity to the carriers. If we, the city of Davis, installed and owned our own infrastructure, then we could compete with Crown Castle leasing space/capacity. We could make it economically unfeasible for Crown Castle to invest in this project.[/quote]

    We as a city may not have the right to build our own infrastructure in the public utility rights of way – don’t know…

  40. medwoman

    I eagerly await a response from someone who knows the answer. I cannot stand the thought of the city losing out on an opportunity. More importantly, I cannot stand the thought of missing the one opportunity we may have for a solution that both Jeff and I could support ; )

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