Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Montgomery Co. Tower Committee Set to Rubber Stamp Cell Towers Today, Including Northwest High School Cell Tower

COMCOR 02.58E.01.06.c.3. provides for the Tower Committee to “review other relevant information” when it reviews TFCG applications. Due to the size of the agenda, my limited access to the records, and time constraints, I was only able to conduct a limited review of the records. However, I did identify a number of issues that are germane to the Tower Committee’s review. As a result, I am providing the following relevant information about applications that are on today’s agenda.

1)            Each of the following TFCG applications fails to meet the TFCG requirement of documenting all legal authorizations for its proposed attachments to be affixed to the structure and/or occupy the intended space, and is therefore deficient. In 2011, Mitsuko Herrera filed Reply Comments with the FCC, representing you, CIO/Director Emanuel, and herself. Page 19 of those Reply Comments discusses various reasons that the Tower Committee rejects TFCG applications. Reasons include when “the property owner has not agreed to the lease” or “approved the attachment.” See https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/7021712395.pdf . The Tower Committee practice of rejecting applications that lack proper authorizations is consistent with the TFCG Regulations. It serves to minimize impacts upon citizens and surrounding areas. It also limits the impacts upon other County agencies, which can prevent administrative congestion, and thus, streamline the processing of deserving applications. Please reject the following applications for being deficient for lacking needed authorizations for attachment:
A.           agenda item 3. – application #201704-14
B.           agenda item 4.– application #201704-15
C.           agenda item 5.– application #204704-16
D.           agenda item 7.– application #204704-29
E.            agenda item 14.– application #204704-36
F.            agenda item 18.– application #204704-40
G.           agenda item 20.– application #204704-43
H.           agenda item 21.– application #201705-01
I.             agenda item 26.– application #201705-14
J.            agenda item 39.– application #201609-10
K.            agenda item 40.– application #201609-11
L.            agenda item 41.– application #201609-13
M.          agenda item 43.– application #201609-15
N.           agenda item 45.– application #201609-17
O.           agenda item 46.– application #201609-18
P.            agenda item 47.– application #201609-19
Q.           agenda item 48.– application #201609-22
R.           agenda item 50.– application #201609-24
S.            agenda item 51.– application #201609-25
T.            agenda item 54.– application #201609-28
U.           agenda item 57.– application #201611-05
V.           agenda item 59.– application #201704-17
W.          agenda item 60.– application #201704-19
X.            agenda item 61.– application #201704-20
Y.            agenda item 62.– application #201704-23
Z.            agenda item 63.– application #201704-26
AA.         agenda item 64.– application #201704-27
BB.         agenda item 65.– application #201704-28

2)            All of the Technology MD Network Co/Mobilitie applications that appear on the regular agenda, agenda items 39 through 57 are deficient. Each of these applications says, “see construction drawings,” to provide the reviewing agency with more complete information. However, in each application, the drawings that are attached are not construction drawings. The attached documents, by their own admission, are unreliable because, as noted, they are only drafts. The documents rely upon no structural analysis. Also, the depictions provide are misleading because they are not to scale, and notations on the drawings themselves indicate that the drawings should not be relied upon. In addition, these drawings are not signed or sealed, and in most cases, no attribution is even provided. Per Maryland Article-Business and Professions, §14-103(a), “drawings shall be signed, sealed, and dated by the professional engineer who prepared or approved the documents.” Please reject all of the Technology MD Network Co/Mobilitie applications that appear on the regular agenda, agenda items 39 through 57.

3)            All of the Technology MD Network Co/Mobilitie applications that appear on the regular agenda, agenda items 39 through 57, indicate plans to attach signage to their sites that would be deceptive and represent the type of subterfuge that the media have reported Mobilitie as engaging in throughout the United States. The applications provide intent to mislead the public by identifying the owner as “Interstate Transport and Broadband.” Please reject all of the Technology MD Network Co/Mobilitie applications that appear on the regular agenda, agenda items 39 through 57.

4)            The following Technology MD Network Co/Mobilitie applications for having provided inaccurate or contradictory information about pole construction, which appear as agenda items 40, 41, 43, 44, 50, and 51. Please reject these applications.
A.           201609-10 – identified as steel, but appears to be bronze. (This application also appears to have misidentified the pole owner in the application.)
B.           201609-11 – identified as steel, but appears to be spun aluminum
C.           201609-13 – identified as steel and as concrete; appears to be spun aluminum
D.           201609-15 – identified as steel, but appears to be spun aluminum
E.            201609-16 – identified as both wood and steel
F.            201609-24 – identified as steel, but appears to be spun aluminum
G.           201609-25 – identified as both bronze and steel

5)            Several applications site facilities next to residential uses, even when there are alternatives for co-locations at the approximate locations that would not abut residential uses. Per COMCOR 02.58E.01.05, the Tower Coordinator’s Application Review must be based, in part, on “co-location options” and “potential impacts on the surrounding area.” And this regulation was adopted, among other reasons, to “minimize adverse impacts upon citizens.” Please table the following applications for their further modification and/or review or reject them.

A.           Agenda item 47. - 201609-19 –The applicant states that the utility pole is in the Montgomery County PROW. But this pole is behind the sidewalk, and it may be on the property owner’s land. The proposed location is a short distance between the main artery, New Hampshire Avenue, and Martin Luther King Park. Surely, Mobilitie could re-evaluate its co-location options and select another utility pole or other site that would not have such an adverse impact upon citizens.

B.           Agenda item 48. - 201609-22 – This attachment abuts a single family residence in an R-60 zone. On the opposite side of the street and very nearby the proposed pole, the Washington  Metropolitan Transit Authority is the owner of a parcel of property (District - 13 Account Number - 02064398) where there is also a Pepco pole. That nonresidential use is more a more appropriate property upon which to co-locate the small cell site, especially in this neighborhood of small, R-60 properties.

C.           Agenda item 60. - 201704-19, item 61. - 201704-20, and item 62. - 201704-23 – With a little effort, T-Mobile could diminish the effects of its DAS poles on this residential community. On Piney Branch, it could, for example, shift down a short way toward the gas station. On Arliss, for example, it could instead of replacing the pole in the sidewalk, in front of the apartments (which could increase barriers to persons with disabilities), it could replace the pole nearby, which is in front of the public library. And, for example, rather than replacing a pole abutting the apartments on Gilbert Place, a pole could instead be replaced at the commercial area that is in back of the apartments, which fronts on University Blvd, E.

6)            There are some typographical errors in the agenda and in the applications. Some of these typos are insignificant, such as misidentified location nodes, and misspelling “Derwood.” However in the case of agenda item 47, the application and agenda incorrectly identify the cross street as Kenwood, which is a street in Bethesda. And in the case of agenda item 63, there are two roads that have the name University Blvd: University Blvd E. and University Blvd W.; failing to specify is problematic and makes the address incomplete.

A.           201609-19 – The street coordinates were misidentified in the application and on the agenda. The correct streets are Jackson Rd. @ Kerwood Rd., Silver Spring.

B.           201704-26 – 925 University Blvd, Silver Spring – There are two University Blvd. Without specifying East or West, this address is incomplete.

7)  COMCOR 02.58E.01.05.b. Requires the Board of Education as the land-owning agency for Northwest High School, which is agenda item59, application 201704-17, to:
               1.   Review the site application in accordance with the agency's siting standards and policy.
                              2.   Receive and evaluate public input as part of the agency's decision process.
The Board of Education has not done this. Please reject this application.

Thank you for considering these issues.

Sue Present

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