The two SMUSD cell towers were built without any building permits, inspections or tests.

The two SMUSD cell towers were built without any building permits, inspections or tests.
Cell tower fires cannot be fought with water or foam and are left to burn out on its own. Century windstorms have exceeded the wind ratings of the cell towers and the seismic rating of the cell towers are unknown. In 2000 Los Angeles Unified School District banned cell towers on and near school campuses.

Friday, October 11, 2013


Cell tower in the maintenance yard is STILL OPERATIONAL by Verizon; only its sub-tenant stopped transmitting since last June. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Please oppose the retroactive Conditional Use Permit being sought by its builder. 

Demand that it be removed and relocated at the builder's expense.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Verizon Cell Tower Conditional Use Permit hearing is postponed again and the new hearing date has not be set yet. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mr. Dave Saldana, Director                                                                                             
September 21, 2013
Planning and Building Commission of the City of San Marino
2200 Huntington Drive
San Marino, CA 91108

RE: Application for Conditional Use Permit #13-12 by Verizon, for the Personal Wireless Facility (Cell Tower)
located at 1645 Sherwood Road, San Marino

Dear Mr. Saldana,

I oppose the siting of 80-foot Verizon wireless cell tower located at 1645 Sherwood Road, San Marino which was built without any building permits from either the City of San Marino or the California Department of the State Architect (DSA).  This cell tower was built without any inspections or tests on record.

How does the public or your and other government agencies know that this structure is safe?
How have you been able to inspect, assess, and approve the tower’s foundation when it is already built?

I vehemently oppose the Verizon cell tower, sited where it is. It is only 18 feet away from the nearest classroom. Classrooms, hallways, and the elementary school playground are in its ‘fall zone’, the circular area encompassed, were it to fall down. 

Verizon did not select the least intrusive site, a legal requirement.  Instead, they decided upon a site with high pupil and teacher density.  The cell tower enclosure is tightly located between two schools, the Huntington Middle School and Valentine Elementary School, which serve approximately 1,200 pupils and their teachers. Were the structure to fall, the chance of injuring children sitting at their desks, the taking human lives is horribly maximized.  On December 1, 2011, a storm with ‘century winds’ of over 100 mph, caused great damage and distress in our city.  On April 8, 2013 wind gusts reached over 80 mph. Verizon’s DSA application states that the 80 foot cell tower is rated safe to withstand up to 70 mph winds. Were a powerful earthquake to suddenly strike and cause a collapse, there would be no warning whatsoever, nor chance to escape. How will you explain to us, the Commission’s granting of this building permit if this ever happened? 
How can we know that this cell tower is safe, especially after its having been stressed by ‘century winds’?
What will happen if and when bigger storms occur, or the ‘big one’ (earthquake) strikes?

If there is any doubt at all regarding safety, then there is doubt about the location and safety of this structure.

Additionally, electrical fires on cell towers are not uncommon. Cell tower fires cannot be extinguished with water or foam and are left to take their time, burning out on their own, out of control.

This cell tower located to the rear of Room 33 in Valentine Elementary School.  This classroom alone has more than thirty students, and many more fifth graders come to it for math class as well. This situation is absolutely unacceptable.

As a parent, as a friend of former and current pupils and teachers in these classrooms, and as a citizen of the community of the San Marino, CA, I vehemently oppose the San Marino Planning and Building Commission’s granting of a retro-active Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to Verizon for this cell tower.  I demand a relocation of the tower to away from our school campus.


CC: San Marino Design Review Committee, San Marino City Mgr. John Schaefer, San Marino Mayor Richard Ward,

San Marino City Council,  SMUSD Superintendent Loren Kleinrock, SMUSD Board Members, Dean Pappas of Goodwin Proctor LLP, SMUSD Cell Tower Advisory Committee, San Marino Tribune

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Saturday, September 14, 2013

San Gabriel Valley Tribune:  "San Marino Parents fret about Verizon cellphone tower and the safety of their children".  (9-10-13)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Your help is needed to oppose the Conditional Use Permit for the
80’ cell tower at Huntington Middle and Valentine Elementary Schools.

PLEASE DO NOT MENTION NEGATIVE HEALTH EFFECTS FROM Radio Frequency Radiation (RF) IN YOUR PUBLIC COMMENT LETTER: When you write letters regarding the Verizon Conditional Use Permit (CUP) please do not mention negative health effects from RF.  


Verizon is currently in the process of retroactively applying for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP 13-12) with the City of San Marino on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 7:00 pm at the Crowell Public Library in the Barth Community Room.  Please attend.

LACKS 2 GOVERNMENT APPROVALS:  Verizon built the 80-foot tall cell tower at HMS and Valentine Elementary without any building permits, inspections, tests or building plans on record with the City of San Marino or the Division of State Architects.  DSA Certification is required for all K-12 schools.  Both government permits should have been obtained before the cell tower was built in 2006.

MISREPRESENTATION OF THE FACTS:  The online DSA Tracker stated that Verizon’s project scope was “Construction of LIGHT POLE” at “Huntington Park Middle School”.

VERIZON’S LEASE CONTRACT AND LACK OF COMPLIANCE:  Verizon signed a lease contract with SMUSD, saying they would obtain all Federal, State or Local permits and certificates as well as soil boring tests, but chose to do nothing.

STEALTH BUILD:  The tower was unlawfully and surreptitiously built during the winter break in 2006.

NO PUBLIC INPUT OR PARTICIPATION:  By not applying for a CUP, Verizon avoided notifying the residents of homes within 300 feet of the SMUSD property line.  They blocked public participation and input into the cell tower CUP hearing.

CELL SITE PROLIFERATION:  The 80’ cell tower has set a precedent in height and location in an R-1 zone.  State and Federal Telecom laws mandate equal access for all Telecoms.  Soon the faux mono pine will no longer resemble a tree when more equipment and satellite dishes are added.

VISUAL BLIGHT AND DECREASED PROPERTY VALUE:  Initially the cell tower monopole was a faux mono-palm with only one antenna array.  In less than a year it became a faux mono-pine that could accommodate 4 antenna arrays.  This change required a Modification of Conditional Use Permit and again violated the City building code.  Who knows what other unattractive changes are legally allowed at this cell site?


VERITICAL REAL ESTATE AT SMUSD:  Verizon has sub-leased space on this tower to additional telecoms in the past.  Any additional antennae, satellite dishes and equipment loaded onto tall cell towers, can pose serious safety risks due to: fire, metal fatigue from excessive load, stress from Century winds and falling faux branches.

PROXIMITY TO EARTHQUAKE ZONE:  Verizon built the tower within ¼ mile of the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Zone.

FALL ZONE NOT SAFE FOR OUR KIDS –NOT LEAST INTRUSIVE SITE:  The tower’s fall zone has student classrooms, walkways, and a playground in its path.  With 2 large combined school campuses to choose a cell site location, why did Verizon have to squeeze in the cell tower so close to classrooms and children?

NO WAY TO FIGHT A FIRE:  Electrical fires on cell towers are not uncommon.  Tower fires cannot be extinguished with water or foam and are left to burn out on their own.


This is the critical moment to demand the removal of the cell tower so please write to the City to OPPOSE VERIZON’S CUP #1312.  It is also very important that we have a large group attend this meeting.  Because of this tower, our school district and community cannot afford to continue losing students and to decrease the overall value of our homes and schools and the quality of life in our city.  Please forward this email to other parents and friends so that large numbers can show up in force at the CUP hearing.

You can email your public comment letter to the following officials: 

1) Dave Saldana, Planning and Building Director: 
2) CC John Schaefer, City Manager: 
3) CC the Mayor and the City Council.  Please email the City Clerk, Veronica Ruiz, asking her to forward your letter to the Mayor and City Council: 
4) CC Superintendent Loren Kleinrock:
5) CC SMUSD Board of Education:  Please ask Debra Kallas to forward your letter to the entire SMUSD Board of Education:    
6)  CC so that we have a record of all the emails being sent to the City regarding the Verizon Cell Tower.           
OR mail your letters to the City of San Marino: 
City of San Marino Planning and Building Department 
2200 Huntington Drive, 1st Floor 
San Marino, CA  91108 
(626) 300-0784 – Planning

Concerned Parents of SMUSD

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