Organizing to Stop the Proliferation of Cell Towers in Residential Neighborhoods
And Requesting Your Support Via Your Contributions and Participation

Based on prior direction from the Planning Commission and feedback from the public,
the stated goal of our new Carmel ordinances is to influence the installation of wireless facilities
to the greatest extent allowed under federal law and to ensure the utmost protection
of the unique aesthetic character of Carmel-by-the-Sea.   

Update Nov 2022 - clipped from the Friday Letter Nov 10 (the full Friday Letter can be viewed here)

Verizon litigation and wireless telecommunications ordinance
We have mentioned in our previous Letters that the City was successful in its Motion to dismiss the lawsuit that Verizon filed challenging the City Council’s decision to deny the Verizon application to install cell facilities at 9th and Carmelo and that Verizon filed an appeal from that court ruling. We expect the Court will be issuing an Administrative Order in that case which will defer the need for filing of appellate briefs by the parties for six months. 
 
We also want to update you on the status of the City’s work on a draft telecommunication ordinance to update the City’s Municipal Code.  Brandon Swanson (Director of Community Development) and Gail Karish (special counsel for the City) have contacted Andrew Campanelli who is an attorney retained by a group of residents to provide input on a draft telecommunications ordinance.  In addition, the City intends to seek input from stakeholders and residents in the community who are interested in expressing their views about a draft telecommunications ordinance.  We will publish a draft calendar for the ordinance in the near future

Update Sept 2022

The originally scheduled 9/14 Planning Commission Workshop to review the draft ordinances is postponed to a future date. The links are provided below. The "future date" will support clarifying and reworking these first versions based on the significant quantity of community input received since their release. 
Here are the first DRAFT Ordinances - HOWEVER these are planned to be reworked and republished
17.45 - Covers applications for wireless facilities on private property (both commercial and residential)  HERE
17.46 - Covers applications for wireless facilities within the City's Right-of-Way (ROW) HERE
17.47 - Covers applications for wireless facilities that fall under the "Existing Facilities Request" regulations HERE
And here are the first checklist drafts used by the Carrier applicants as well:

Updates Aug 1 2022 

Stop Cell Towers in Carmel Neighborhoods understands that Verizon has filed an appeal at the 9th Circuit District Court. We are diligently assessing what it means. We believe this highlights the importance of why we need a strong wireless ordinance to protect our village from cell tower proliferation. 

The City will be releasing its draft ordinances prior to the September 14 Planning Commission meeting. The citizen funded attorney, Andrew Campanelli, is planned to speak at this meeting.   
(UPDATE 9/6/2022: This Planning Commission Workshop on the Wireless Ordinance is postponed to a future Month (Oct or Nov), to be announced.)

It is important for as many residents as possible attend the upcoming meeting by zoom or call in, write letters and turn in postcards send to you by the resident group Stop Cell Towers in Carmel Neighborhoods in order to make sure we have the strongest ordinance possible that puts us in control of where cell towers are placed and their aesthetics.

Update July 24 2022

The City's first draft of the updated Telecom ordinance will be made available in the coming weeks, well in advance of the routine Planning Commission meeting September 14th, where this will be the first agenda item.  This initial draft will highlight where the City's draft has leveraged directly or indirectly this Citizen Funded recommendations contributed by their Attorney Andrew Campanelli. Watch for this draft City Ordinance, and we will also post it here, as soon as it's posted.   And to participate with your comments on this draft, write in to the City Staff and/or speak live at this upcoming September 14th Planning Commision meeting.   Thank you for your support.

Update June 30 2022 -

Good news that the recent Verizon cell tower placement request for the 8th and Carmelo location - was contested by Verizon and went through the courts to be officially declined, as updated in the the July 1st Friday Letter
"On June 30, 2022, the Court issued an Order granting the City's Motion for Summary Judgment and dismissing the lawsuit filed by Verizon. The lawsuit had sought to overturn the decision of the City Council on December 7, 2021, denying the Verizon application to install cell facilities on a telephone pole located on Carmelo Street, just west of the LaPlaya hotel. A copy of the Court Order is posted on the City's website and available by clicking on the button below. The City will continue to provide updates as they become available."   
This summary judgement document is available on the City Website Here.  But this doesn't stop the efforts of this effort.  An undated ordinance for our Village remains the focus of this team, to minimize the impacts of cell tower placements in residential areas.   Please read on to learn more and to contribute through $'s and your voice as the development of a revised ordinance continues. 

....Read on for more background on this initiative!

The “STOP Cell Towers in Carmel Neighborhoods” is a resident’s group that favors good cellular service but opposes locating cell tower installations in ALL 93921 residential zones.

As residents we are asking city officials to update the ordinance to protect our homes and residential neighborhoods from cell tower installations.  The industrial nature of cell towers is out-of-character and out-of-scale with our residential neighborhoods, and much more.

This group is advocating to have our homes and neighborhoods protected from: the visual blight of cell tower proliferation, the unpleasant, incessant noise of cell tower antennas and battery cooling fans, the increased danger from the fall zone and fires, the negative impacts on our view sheds, the corresponding property devaluation, and the overall aesthetic degradation of our neighborhoods ultimately destroying the scenic beauty and charm of our unique village.

Although not a part of their public position, the telecom companies seek to install a network of 5G cellular towers (as close as 100 feet apart) throughout our neighborhoods --- to shift higher capacity entertainment services to their increased capacity Cell Towers; not for the sole purpose of traditional text and phone cellular service as they claim.  Residents already have cable series into our homes for high-capacity entertainment services and also use Wi-Fi for cell service when in range. 

Alternatively, we argue that the telecom companies can upgrade their equipment onto the existing macro cell towers located on our mountain tops, to provide all the infrastructure needed to provide cellular service to our entire one-square-mile village.

Please consider contributing to the Legal Expenses
for our efforts to “STOP CELL TOWERS IN CARMEL NEIGHBORHOODS”

The STOP group has hired expert telecom attorney, Andrew Campanelli, to address the residents needs for our wireless ordinance and work with the city on the ordinance.  We’ve engaged Mr. Campanelli to write the most protective ordinance allowed under the new guidelines.  Given his deep experience he knows there is plenty we can do to address our concerns and protect our needs.  Mr. Campanelli is considered by many to be the best, most experienced telecom attorney in the country. 

To learn more about Campanelli’s expertise on ordinances: 

  • View this video HERE  
  • And his work on this exactly this issue on his web site HERE
  • NEW - Campanelli's DRAFT Ordinance - May 2022 HERE

Our group has paid the initial retainer to secure his services. This fundraiser is to cover the remainder of his full fee and legal fees throughout the wireless ordinance update process. While we cannot guarantee that the city will agree to adopt the ordinance and legal approach developed by Mr. Campanelli, we feel compelled to present this legal position to the city in hopes that they will be convinced. We feel this telecom attorney is our best chance to educate our city officials, city representatives and community to craft the strongest wireless ordinance for Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Our collective donations will make our best efforts possible. For information on making a donation or with your questions please email address:  [email protected]

As they say, “It takes a village”…

Thank you for your support,

Christy Hollenbeck
Tasha Witt
Bob Kavner