Company installs cell phone tower in family's front yard without permission!

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#1
long+island+cellphone+tower.jpg Hey, is that a cell phone tower in your yard?

A Long Island family has one big problem — a problem about three stories high. It's a cell phone tower erected right on their front lawn. The tower went up in less than a week. The Di Marcos say there were lied to all along the way. "They told me it was an extra light the town required," said Michael Di Marco.
The Di Marco family and town officials figured out a California based company called NextG Networks put up the tower.


"We've called it construction by ambush. This thing just showed up one morning," said John Rouse, Brookhaven Superintendent of Highways. He accused NextG of putting up the tower without permits, without plans, and without the necessary bond needed to put up a cell phone tower near their roads. The town has sent NextG a letter demanding answers.

Lori Di Marco says she spoke with the company and couldn't believe their reasoning. "They said FCC... granted them the right to do so and provide communication service, it was a public necessity."
Hey, is that a cell phone tower in your yard? - Technology & science - Wireless - msnbc.com
 
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MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
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#3
Not sure if its their land, or in the right of way. Either way, I would be hiring a lawyer. Whats rent for a cell tower these days, about $700 to $1200 / month?
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#4
Utility easements don't cover cellphone towers.

I'm curious to know what exactly is going on here. We are only hearing one side. There is more to this story I'm sure.

For starters, a cellphone tower can't fit in the same footprint as a lamp post. There is usually a small equipment shelter with a couple of racks full of equipment. Then there are the antennas.

What I think this is is a small antenna for WiMax or other wireless internet. It could be a small microcell too, but not a full fledged cellsite.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#6
Aha I found it:

NextG's Next Move - Garden City, NY Patch

So this is something called DAS which essentially is a very small cellsite disguised as a lamp post. You can even see some pictures of it.

It doesn't look ugly at all! It looks like a regular lamp post. I don't see what the big deal is. Maybe it's some paranoid NIMBYs who are afraid of "radiation" from cellphones. Maybe we ought to just scrap all of the cellphone towers and go back to landlines. That would be GREAT!
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#8
At "three stories" high though, it sounds like a full size tower.
I don't think any company in their right mind would put up a full sized tower on any property without getting permission. It is an utterly foolish thing to do.

From the link I posted it appears to be a small antenna disguised as a lamp post. "Three stories high" sounds like a gross overexaggeration. I think the guy was most upset because his neighborhood had no overhead wires and now a lamp post pops up out of nowhere.
 

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#9
Aha I found it:

NextG's Next Move - Garden City, NY Patch

So this is something called DAS which essentially is a very small cellsite disguised as a lamp post. You can even see some pictures of it.

It doesn't look ugly at all! It looks like a regular lamp post. I don't see what the big deal is. Maybe it's some paranoid NIMBYs who are afraid of "radiation" from cellphones. Maybe we ought to just scrap all of the cellphone towers and go back to landlines. That would be GREAT!
lol, good find.

Kind of siding with the homeowners on this one, I wouldn't be happy with the aesthetics of a new 30-40' pole in my front/backyard either. That has to have an effect on property prices around it....I know I would not pay as much for a house with something like that vs a similar house in a similar neighborhood but no pole.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#10
So some further digging (not surprisingly) reveals that the company is 100% correct.

They are putting small antennas on utility poles. Under section Section 704(c) of the telecommunications act, they are allowed to put these antennas on utility poles in easements and they don't have to pay any rent to the land owner (that's why it's an easement after all). The land owner also really has no say in how the antennas are sited for aesthetic concerns. The company was 100% correct in saying the FCC allowed them to put up an antenna.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#11
lol, good find.

Kind of siding with the homeowners on this one, I wouldn't be happy with the aesthetics of a new 30-40' pole in my front/backyard either. That has to have an effect on property prices around it....I know I would not pay as much for a house with something like that vs a similar house in a similar neighborhood but no pole.
I am not sure it's a new pole either. It sounds like it's just a new antenna on an existing lamp post.
 

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#14
Well I don't know... like I said there may be more we are missing.
From the looks of it, MSNBC was under the impression that the pole was brand new.... "It's a cell phone tower erected right on their front lawn." I'm definitely interested in hearing more details about whether the pole is new or not. It's also kind of difficult to see how close that pole is to the house in question, looks like a cell phone pic and with all of the snow cover....need more detail.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#15
The story states that they installed it and told the homeowners that it was a new lamp post. Therefore I would have to say it is entirely new - if it was a lamp post before, the town and homeowners would have no beef.

Still, the fact that they can install it pretty much anywhere in a right of way without planning, informing, asking - is disturbing. What if they just put it in a stupid spot where it blocks vision when pulling out of a driveway?
 

Chips

DTVUSA Member
#17
From the article it looks new to me. And they can't just place it anywhere. If it is a new tower, they have to get local permits to construct it. The FCC has set new rules to fast track building new wireless towers, but they are nothing more then window dressing. The new rules just fast track a wireless company's time frame to challenge the local zoning in court, but does not give them the right to build without a zoning permit, but there is probably more to this story. Here is an article dealing with the new FCC rules.
FCC Adopts Shot Clock On Wireless Tower Siting - 2009-11-18 15:51:43 | Broadcasting & Cable

The story states that they installed it and told the homeowners that it was a new lamp post. Therefore I would have to say it is entirely new - if it was a lamp post before, the town and homeowners would have no beef.

Still, the fact that they can install it pretty much anywhere in a right of way without planning, informing, asking - is disturbing. What if they just put it in a stupid spot where it blocks vision when pulling out of a driveway?
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#18
Chips,

Crazy stuff happens. I was astonished when I found a new speed limit sign planted by the County dead-center in the middle of my unpaved driveway, about 20 years ago. I pushed it over with my truck and physically 'waltzed' it about 20 feet to the side of my driveway and the timing was perfect: a Deputy Sheriff drove by, stopped, and started to give me the riot act.

By the time it ended (after he ran me, my girlfriend, my license plate - the works) he was a buddy and laughing about the County morons in another division: sign planters. It turned out he was a new neighbor right up the road from me. Nice guy.

Jim
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#20
From the article it looks new to me. And they can't just place it anywhere. If it is a new tower, they have to get local permits to construct it.
True, but they likely don't require the homeowner's permission if it is in a utility easement.

NextG Networks - For Utilities

A. NextG applies for the right to design, permit, build, operate and manage telecommunications system in the public right-of-way of the City, in compliance with the City's ordinances and permitting requirements. NextG typically submits a right-of-way use agreement that seeks:

the right to enter into the public right-of-way to provide telecommunications services;
the right to use City-owned streetlight poles and traffic signal poles for the collocation of NextG's facilities;
the right to use third-party-owned property (utility poles) in the public right-of-way for deployment of NextG's system;
the right to use any available City-owned fiber for the collocation of NextG's facilities; and
the right to use any available City-owned conduit for the collocation of NextG's facilities.
In addition, NextG provides information related to the physical construction in, and occupation of, the public right-of-way. The FCC requires a utility to respond to NextG’s request within 45 days.
So all they need is permission from the city to use utility easements. Typically they can't refuse that, so the city has to say yes and then they have blanket permission to install it in city rights of way (utility easements).
 
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