Wireless and Small Cell Regulations and Installation

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As wireless technology continues to advance, carriers continue to roll out new and replacement cellular antennas on Mercer Island. Federal regulation of these facilities also continues to evolve. Since 2016, the city has seen two major deployments of small wireless facilities. In addition, the city adopted interim regulations related to "small cell" facilities and is in the process of adopting a permanent update to wireless regulations.

As wireless technology continues to advance, carriers continue to roll out new and replacement cellular antennas on Mercer Island. Federal regulation of these facilities also continues to evolve. Since 2016, the city has seen two major deployments of small wireless facilities. In addition, the city adopted interim regulations related to "small cell" facilities and is in the process of adopting a permanent update to wireless regulations.

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My Fellow Mercer Islanders,
46 new cell towers have recently appeared on our Island - they’ve been installed for 5G.
I am very concerned about the radio-frequency radiation and the effect these towers will have on our community’s health. Good health and radiation are not compatible.
What safety testing has been done?
Do any long-term studies show 5G to be safe?
The 60 GHz frequencies deployed by these towers is a huge increase over our past networks.
Has enough research been done to ensure our safety?

Matthew over 2 years ago
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Very annoying buzz on 29th.
Anyway to lessen the noise?

Bonnie about 3 years ago
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Could someone from the city of Mercer Island please explain why the applications for these small cell antennas are being approved?

What is the city and Mercer Island residents receiving in return for the expansion of private business onto Mercer island?

Does Mercer Island and people in the position of approval guarantee the safety of the blanket and array of technologies being approved with the current and future technologies of these small antennas?(Both 4g and 5g?)

I am at a loss of why such easy and rapid approval of private business on the Island would be allowed without taking the concerns of actual residents into account.

Graeme about 3 years ago
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... [3/3] Our neighborhood at Ellis Pond does not want the towers, poles, wires, buzzing, light pollution, or gutted tree canopies. Please do what you can to stop the installation, and please let me know how I can help support efforts to prevent it.

Thank you!

Ian about 3 years ago
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... [2/3] We love our park so much that we moved very close to its border. In the park, we have seen many animals scurrying around and singing in there. We have heard the calls of an eagle, and we've seen beautiful deer with huge antlers, an owl, red-headed woodpeckers, ducklings, and many other wonderful animals. It is truly a paradise that I am so pleased to share with my wife and daughter.

My wife and I lived in Seattle for over 10 years where wires are strewn across otherwise pretty streets, marring what would be charming neighborhoods. Tree canopies are hacked away to make way for the wires. The blue-white of industrial LEDs blare out of street lamps at night. The buzzing of electric wires and cooling fans pollute the silence. The transformers that look like trash can hanging off of crooked poles. And the affronts to nature of fake metal trees barnacled with conspicuously brown antennae pollute our views.... [2/3]

Ian about 3 years ago
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Please protect our parks and the beauty of our natural environment by preventing the cell tower and poles at Ellis Pond.

My wife and I feel that Mercer Island is a beautiful place that is respectful of nature and has a natural tranquility that should be protected. Please help to prevent phone companies from installing a cell tower or any telephone poles at Ellis Pond. It will very much adversely affect the beauty and character of our neighborhood and park.

My wife and our 18 month old little girl moved into the neighborhood because it is one of the last few serene areas without poles and wires littering the streets. Our neighborhood at Ellis Pond is such a beautiful area. The limbs of healthy tree canopies overhang the streets like a European town. I am often struck by the serenity of the neighborhood, which was a big reason why we decided to raise our family here..... [1/3]

Ian about 3 years ago
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I strongly opposed the new tower next to Ellis Pond – for 3 reasons:

First, MICC 19.06.075.A says that these towers may "not adversely affect the visual character of the city." This neighborhood has no existing poles or wires - it's a remote area that’s quiet, full of trees, and dark at night. A 35-foot pole here would greatly affect the visual character.

Second, MICC 19.06.075.A mentions "alternative sites" - and in this case there is an existing power pole on 90th Ave SE less than 400 feet away. Why build a new pole (and potentially run power lines to it) when there is an existing pole so close by?

Third, Ellis pond is a delicate ecosystem that should be protected. There are ducks, frogs, owls, and eagles – not the right place for a tower.

Thank you for doing everything you can to fight this. I understand there are some FCC rules that seem to prevent the city from acting, but many other cities are filing suit instead of just going along with the rules. Why can’t we?

David Kline about 3 years ago
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Why is the city allowing clusters of small cell sites on the island? We already have a T-Mobile cell tower in front of our house within 120 feet of our house and now find out another Verizon site will be installed within 100 feet of the back side of our house on 71st Ave SE. It doesn’t seem fair to any given property owner to have these sites accumulate near their homes, due to the noise, and the poor aesthetics of the towers.

Jeff about 3 years ago
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We strongly oppose the proposed construction of the Verizon Ellis Pond Cell Tower. We purchased a home in this area 15 years ago for its uninterrupted natural beauty, green spaces and parks. Ellis Pond is a natural asset that sets the visual context for this neighborhood. Construction of this tower would profoundly and irreparably degrade the character and quality of the neighborhood for all its residents and those who come to enjoy its trails and peaceful scenery. Furthermore, it would set a disastrous precedent leading to more cell towers, poles and wires outside of the City’s control and in unwanted places as telecom carriers choose cheap and ugly 5G installations to boost their profits at the expense of the residents. Why aren't we seeing a thorough study and options for different approaches that respect the neighborhood and its home values with less obtrusive transmitters and underground wires as examples?

Eric and Galen Hermelee about 3 years ago
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I am all for it because we need more competition for broadband. Hopefully they will be deploying 5G ! I am excited to have more choices for broadband services, the competition should help bring prices down and better service. Small cells are not big huge towers, I have seen them and I don't think they will detract from the beauty of Mercer Island and will bring better broadband service to our community which will just make it even more attractive place to live -- if that is even possible :)

Donna about 3 years ago
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The "What's happening Now" post says that "...the City does not anticipate the installation of any new poles". However, CLEC has requested a permit to install a new 35' pole with a streetlight and motor driven cooling fan in a highly visible location in our neighborhood - on a street that currently has no utility poles, wires, or streetlights.
Mercer Island is already suffering (badly) from "pole pollution" and new poles should be avoided at all costs when reasonable alternatives exist. Permits for new poles should be denied based at the very least on aesthetic criteria.
Measures should be put in place for a comprehensive review of CLEC's site selections and efforts made to mitigate choices that make sense if you're a network optimization algorithm, but don't make sense if you're a resident.
Rumor has it that after this wave of Verizon installations, there are at least three more carriers waiting in the wings to install their own constellations of 5G transceivers.

Kevin Chester about 3 years ago
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For public safety as well as quality of life, this need to happen. Cell reception is truly problematic all over the island. We send guests to the middle of the street to get a connection to carry a cell phone conversation. This is long over due.

AaronS about 3 years ago
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This would be great

Jay about 3 years ago
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The City should review the Bellevue Newtoria staff report (https://development.bellevuewa.gov/UserFiles/Servers/Server_4779004/File/pdf/Land%20Use/16-129655-LA-Newtoria.pdf) for potential conditions of approval. For example, no fans or generators that produce noise, minimization of exposed cable/wires, all coaxial cables pulled tight to minimize visual impacts, no ground equipment, painting all equipment brown to match the pole, restoration of disturbed property to equal or better condition, no modifications that diminish the stealth characteristics of the nodes, no expansion beyond RCW definition of small cell, removal at no cost if other utilities are undergrounded, removal of facilities that are abandoned or in disrepair, and radio frequency testing.

The city may also want to clarify the nuisance noise limitations for small cells. For example, Bothell references the limits in WAC 173-60-040. This would limit noise at the property line to 45 dbA between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

shakecycle about 3 years ago
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Page last updated: 06 Aug 2021, 01:02 PM