Andrew Campanelli Zoominar on Taming the 4G/5G Densified Grid — July 23, 2020
Some of the The Best Advice Out There . . .
What Municipal Officials Need To Know About the 4G/5G Densified Grid? — July 21, 2020
How Mayors as Good as Ian Oglesby From Seaside, CA Follow the Advice — September 21, 2019
Since beginning his legal career as a litigator in 1992, Andrew Campanelli has handled over 7,000 civil cases challenging Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs).
In addition to prosecuting qui tam actions in federal courts across the Country, Mr. Campanelli offers experienced representation to property owners, civic associations and local governments who seek to invoke their civil rights to oppose respective applications for the installation of WTFs.
Mr. Campanelli offers a full range of services throughout each stage of the tower installation process undertaken by wireless companies, from site acquisition, through zoning applications and, if necessary, both federal and state litigation.
His services include, but are not limited to:
(a) individual case investigations to determine whether there are legal and/or factual grounds to deny an application for the installation of a Cell Tower or Cell Antennas, or to remove antennas which have already been built,
(b) formal presentations before local zoning boards to oppose zoning approvals,
(c) prosecuting or defending federal or state litigation to prevent the installation of antennas, secure the removal of installed antennas, or defend a local government which has been sued as a result of having denied an application for installation of one or more cell antennas or towers,
(d) assisting local governments in the drafting of zoning ordinances governing the installation of Cell Towers, and
(e) advocating on behalf of citizens and civic associations, that their local government adopt such ordinances.
Transcript Excerpts from the Video
Here is the test: the courts have said that a town must grant a permit for a location to build a Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) — even if it violates your local zoning code — if the applicant can prove two things:
- The wireless carrier suffers from a gap in its personal wireless services
- The proposed installation is the least intrusive means of remedying that gap and there is no possible less intrusive alternative location
If — and only if — they can prove those two things, then the municipality has to issue the permit for the WTF.
BUT, the important part is to make the applicant prove these two points with substantial written evidence in the public record
Usually, when it is a site developer, such as Crown Castle or Extenet, it is not the best location. So local governments have to force the applicant to give them probitive evidence, just like anybody else would. The applicant will come in with propagation maps, many of which are bogus. Without the data behind the maps, the municipality does not know if the propagation map is worth the paper it is written on. The truth is that no Federal Court would take a propagation map without verification.
The first thing a town should say to a wireless applicant is "Do you have a gap in telecommunications service? Do a drive test and give me the drive test results. Very cheap. They take take a phone [or RF meter], attach a recording device and they drive through town. The recording device records the signal strengths every few milliseconds and it will give you a precise reading of all the signal strengths on the streets of the town. That hard data will show you if there is a gap in telecommunications service, where it is and what it’s boundaries are.
S4WT Comment: We propose the following for State Bills and Local Ordinances → https://unsafeatanyg.com/survival
Written Evidence — Wireless Antenna Need Test In Telecommunications (WE-WANT-IT) Bill/Ordinance
WE-WANT-IT would require a Comprehensive Wireless Signal Strength Test to be conducted every six months by an independent RF Engineer, who will log, second-by-second, the Wireless signal-strength levels in dBm (decibel-milliWatts) of every carrier-specific licensed and unlicensed wireless frequency that is being transmitted to the streets of every local authority (every city, town, village or unincorporated county area). The full data file for each WE-WANT-IT test will be placed in the public record of each respective authority for anyone to view, analyze and verify and will serve as the basis for local decisions, regarding:
- the need for any additional Wireless infrastructure; and
- the placement, construction, modification and operations of WTFs of any G within the authority’s borders.
The cost for each WE-WANT-IT test would be paid by antenna operators on a pro rata basis: the share of each Wireless Company’s antenna capabilities, meaning the percentage of the sum of the maximum Effective Radiated Power that could be transmitted by each antenna operating within the authority’s borders.
More Transcript Excerpts from the Video
Then and only then can a local board — whether it is a planning board, zoning board, or city council — figure out if the location the applicant is proposing is consistent with intelligent planning . . . because if the proposed tower does not fill the identified gap in telecommunications service and the town approves the construction of the WTF, the applicant might come back six months later and propose another cell tower because the first WTF did not fill the gap in the first place.
And usually when the application is from a site developer, it’s not the best location. It’s not even necessary. If a wireless carrier has a significant gap, they will be the one applying for the cell tower or the WTF. . . . if sophisticated local governments know what to ask for, they can control, for the most part, where Wireless Telecommunications Facilities go.
If the town denies an application because of aesthetics, and an applicant has said we have a significant gap and the town does not find whether or not the applicant proves there is a gap, then the town loses by default. Under the federal law, any denial of a cell tower must be based upon substantial written evidence.
The town wants to say "We deny the application because of an adverse effect on property values and the evidence we have that this property owner brought in a letter from a professional, a real estate broker or an appraiser, saying this tower will reduce the value of your house by 20-30%".
The next thing the town wants to do is give your board(s) some guidance as to what type of evidence they should ask for so they can understand if they see a false document. The two most common types of fraud that I have seen perpetrated through false FCC compliance reports is claims of compliance with the wrong standard or the other trick they play called the distance game and here is what that is.
When the applicant gives the town an FCC compliance report, they have to calculate the level of microwave radiation to which they will expose people. The reason for such a report is that the WTF doesn’t exist yet. The easiest way to prevent a false calculation is with a false distance fact. The first factor they have to consider is how close someone can get to the WTF. The closer someone gets to a WTF, the greater the level of microwave radiation to which they get exposed.
To prepare a false FCC compliance report, which shows the level of microwave radiation will be a fraction of what it will actually be, all they have to do is start with a false distance factor. If your board does not know how to read these reports, they can miss this. The same goes for false propagation maps, false visual impact analysis. You have to give your board guidance on how to analyze what is given to them because, in my experience, 90% of the applications I have seen, the applicant has submitted false and misleading information and it is not by mistake.
The important part is to make the Wireless Company give you proof.