Menlo Park nixes cell tower in Nealon Park | June 8, 2011 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - June 8, 2011

Menlo Park nixes cell tower in Nealon Park

by Sandy Brundage

You can't hear me now: Menlo Park has yanked T-Mobile's application to mount a cell phone antenna on a light pole in Nealon Park.

"After further reviewing the potential value and impact of an antenna in the park, the City determined to no longer authorize T-Mobile's application, making the use permit application null and void. A representative of T-Mobile has been notified of the City's decision," project planner Kyle Perata wrote in an email to the City Council and other interested parties on June 1.

City Manager Glen Rojas said aesthetics and safety were the main concerns about allowing an antenna in park within a residential area.

"We talked at the department head level about the pros and cons of putting cell towers in parks, and felt that was not an appropriate place to put it," Mr. Rojas said.

A representative of Nealon Neighbors Against Cell Towers (NNACT) said the news delighted the group.

Joshua Hart, describing the proposed antenna's location near a playing field and a nursery school as "about the most inappropriate location imaginable," said he didn't believe it was coincidence that the decision came a day after the World Health Organization released a report labeling cellphones as possible carcinogens, a ranking shared by coffee, gasoline, and pickled vegetables.

Mr. Hart sees Menlo Park's decision as a sign of things to come. "As residents and elected officials become more aware of the health threat posed by wireless radiation, including cell phones, towers, wi-fi and smart meters, we expect that this is just the beginning of a widespread backlash against wireless technology," he said.

Members of NNACT, along with other community activists, peppered the city with letters asking officials to deny T-Mobile's application.

According to T-Mobile spokesman Rod De La Rosa, the company didn't know why the city decided not to lease the proposed antenna site, but he said that T-Mobile would reassess the situation and look for other opportunities. "We still need coverage in the area," he said.


Posted by Growth inMenlo, a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Jun 8, 2011 at 11:01 pm

When is the city of Menlo Park going to wake up and start moving into the next century. Constant complaints from the City Council about lost tax revenue, yet nothing being done about the closed store fronts down town from greedy landlords(rot in hell) and now rejecting a cell tower because of concern for public safety?? What a total crock of crap! Should TMobile put a cell tower on the abandoned car dealerships on El Camino???? Nothing else will grow there now!
BTW.. open up parking in downtown Menlo and bring people to the area. WAKE UP COUNCIL!!

Posted by MPMan, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Jun 11, 2011 at 8:13 am

Very sad to see so many empty and downtroden building on ECR in MP - and with such a housing shortage. Then we're also paying cops OverTime to Increase Staff to write parking tickets. Nice solution to budget. Its backwards and I not only want to overturn the whole Council but all the CIty officials. This town has so much potential - merge more functions with neighboring cities, open up commerce, parking, fix buildings and be pro-business. Yes, Wake Up Menlo Park Officials. You're getting a "D" from me across the board!

Posted by Cell fish, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 11, 2011 at 8:14 am

If I cant get good cell coverage Im not going to stay in town. We need better cel coverage and i dont see real solutions - I see old world thinking.....when does a cell tower crash - come on!