City Manager's Updates

Monthly updates from El Cerrito City Manager Karen Pinkos.

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Jun 10

Update on Verizon Cell Tower located on Stockton Avenue - June 10, 2013

Posted on June 10, 2013 at 4:55 PM by Suzanne Iarla

At the June 5th Design Review Board (DRB) meeting, the Board reviewed an application to allow the installation of six antennas and associated equipment on the roof of the church located at 6830 Stockton. The entire installation was proposed to be hidden by the construction of a bell tower that will encapsulate it. This project has been continued to the July DRB meeting and the applicant has been instructed to come up with various design concepts and photo simulations. He has also been encouraged to bring an architect.

Pursuant to Chapter 19.28 of the El Cerrito Municipal Code, “Our zoning ordinance provides a uniform and comprehensive set of standards and procedures to regulate the development, placement, installation, and operation of wireless telecommunications antennas and related facilities ("wireless telecommunications facilities") consistent with the goals, objectives, and policies of the General Plan and the applicable requirements of federal law. The regulations are intended to provide for the appropriate development of wireless telecommunications facilities within the City to meet the needs of residents, business-owners, and visitors while protecting public health and safety and preventing visual blight and degradation of the community's aesthetic character and scenic vistas”
It is noted that the 1996 Telecommunications Act preempts state and local regulation of the environmental effects of electromagnetic emissions when it has requirements beyond those of FCC rules. Therefore, as a submittal requirement of any telecommunication application, all applicants must submit information verifying that their project is in conformance of all FCC standards.

At the DRB meeting, many of the Board members voiced concerns with the way the new cupola integrated with the existing church. They found that scale, mass, proportion, as well as its architectural features were all inconsistent with the existing main buildings on site.

Staff will continue to work with the applicant to find the best solution to the concerns raised at the meeting.