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.

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

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