No on SB 649

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SB 649 is Bad for Your Community: Corporate Interests vs. Good Governance

 

The League, and nearly 150 cities, are OPPOSED to SB 649 (as amended June 20) related to the permitting of wireless and small cell telecommunications facilities.  Mayors of six of California's largest cities have sent Sen. Hueso a letter opposing the measure.

This proposal represents a major shift in telecommunications policy and law by 1) requiring local governments to lease out the public’s property; 2) cap how much cities can lease this space out for, eliminate the ability for cities to negotiate public benefits; 3) the public’s input and full discretionary review in all communities of the state except for areas in coastal zones and historic districts, for the installation of “small cell” wireless equipment.
 
As amended, the bill is no longer limited to just “small cells.” SB 649 now applies broadly to all telecommunications providers and the equipment they use from “micro-wireless” to “small cell” to “macro-towers.” It’s clear from the direction of this bill, that the intent is not about 5G wireless deployment, but rather local deregulation of the entire telecommunications industry. This latest version places a new ban on city/county regulation of placement or operation of “communication facilities” within and outside the public right of way far beyond “small cells.” This new language would extend local preemption of regulation to any “provider authorized by state law to operate in the rights of way,” which can include communications facilities installed for services such as gas, electric, and water, leaving cities and counties with limited oversight only over “small cells.”

Despite the wireless industry’s claim that the equipment would be “small” in their attempt to justify this special permitting and price arrangement solely for their industry, the bill would allow for antennas as large as six cubic feet, equipment boxes totaling 35 cubic feet (larger than previous bill version of 21 cubic feet), with no size or quantity limitations for the following equipment: electric meters, pedestals, concealment elements, demarcation boxes, grounding equipment, power transfer switches, and cutoff switches.

In the Press

 

Take Action and Call Your Assembly Member to Tell Them Why SB 649 is Bad For Your Community


SB 649 will be heard on Wednesday, June 28th at 1:30pm in Assembly Local Government Committee. The bill will also be heard in Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee. Although SB 649 is not yet calendared for this committee, it is eligible to be heard on the very same day at the same time, June 28 at 1:30 p.m.
 
  • SB 649 ties the hands of local government by prohibiting discretionary review of “small cell” wireless antennas and related equipment, regardless of whether they will be collocated on existing structures or located on new "poles, structures, or non-pole structures," including those within the public right-of-way.
  •  SB 649 shuts out the public from the permitting process and preempts adopted local land use plans by mandating that “small cells” be allowed in all zones as a use by-right.
  •  SB 649 provides a de facto exemption to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the installation of such facilities and precludes consideration by the public of the aesthetic, nuisance impacts, and other environmental impacts of these facilities.
  • SB 649 will cap lease agreements for use of public property at $250 (it was $850 under the prior version of the bill) annually per attachment rates for each “small cell.” In contrast, some cities have been able to negotiate leases for “small cells” upwards of $3,000, while others have negotiated “free” access to public property in exchange for a host of tangible public benefits. The cap lease agreement is problematic because these leases provide your local government with revenue that can goes back to public services in your community. The net effect with this cap lease agreement is that your local government could cutback services in your community.
If you have an Assembly Member on either of these committees, please CALL OR TEXT your Assembly Member as soon as possible and urge their NO vote. Talking points are included in this alert.

 
ASSEMBLY LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Member District Party Room Phone Fax
Aguiar-Curry, Cecilia (Chair) 4 D 5144 916 319 2004 916 319 2104
Bloom, Richard 50 D 2003 916 319 2050 916 319 2150
Caballero, Anna 30 D 5158 916 319 2030 916 319 2130
Gonzalez Fletcher, Lorena 80 D 2114 916 319 2080 916 319 2180
Grayson, Timothy 14 D 4164 916 319 2014 916 319 2114
Lackey, Tom 36 R 2174 916 319 2036 916 319 2136
Ridley-Thomas, Sebastian 54 D 2176 916 319 2054 916 319 2154
Voepel, Randy 71 R 4009 916 319 2071 916 319 2171
Waldron, Marie (Vice-Chair) 75 R 4130 916 319 2075 916 319 2175
ASSEMBLY COMMUNICATIONS AND CONVEYANCE
Member District Party Room Phone Fax
Bonta, Rob 18 D 2148 916 319 2018 916 319 2118
Cervantes, Sabrina 60 D 5164 916 319 2060 916 319 2160
Dababneh, Matthew 45 D 6031 916 319 2045 916 319 2145
Garcia, Eduardo 56 D 4140 916 319 2056 916 319 2156
Holden, Chris 41 D 5132 916 319 2041 916 319 2141
Lackey, Tom 36 R 2174 916 319 2036 916 319 2136
Low, Evan 28 D 4126 916 319 2028 916 319 2128
Maienschein, Brian 77 R 4139 916 319 2077 916 319 2177
Obernolte, Jay (Vice-Chair) 33 R 4116 916 319 2033 916 319 2133
Patterson, Jim 23 R 3132 916 319 2023 916 319 2123
Rodriguez, Freddie 52 D 2188 916 319 2052 916 319 2152
Santiago, Miguel (Chair) 53 D 6027 916 319 2053 916 319 2153
Wood, Jim 2 D 6005 916 319 2002 916 319 2102
You can find your Legislator’s contact information here: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/.
 

 

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