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, March 13, 2015

FRONT PAGE NEWS IN THE SAN MARINO TRIBUNE: March 12, 2015


Cell Tower at San Marino High School Slated for Removal
By Mitch Lehman


Score a victory for a small but persistent group of parents in the San Marino Unified School District who appear to have pulled off what was previously unthinkable: the removal of a 60’ cell tower that for eight years was located just west of Titan Stadium on the campus of San Marino High School.
“I think it’s a win for the community,” said Dr. Alex Cherniss, San Marino Unified School District superintendent. “We just don’t think a cell tower is compatible with the high school campus.”
The battle continues, however, over the fate of a cell tower located in the maintenance yard between Huntington Middle School and Valentine Elementary School that has drawn equal criticism – and was never officially permitted. That tower is owned by Verizon Wireless, who is, ironically, currently selling off some of their transmission structures with American Tower a frequent buyer.
Both tower owners still need to find a suitable replacement location and American Tower is reportedly looking at the abandoned HOWS Market, just east of San Marino City limits on Huntington Drive.

An earlier plan to relocate the Huntington/Valentine tower to the goat grazing median strip of Old Mill Rd. at the intersection of Huntington Drive was met with opposition from residents who live in that area.

“We are not in the end zone yet,” Cherniss added, after discussing the many options and issues that still remain. “We still have a several more details to iron out. But credit to the cell tower operators: They have heard our concerns.”

“On behalf of the Cell Tower Advisory Committee, we’re very excited about this,” said Chair Anthony Paul Diaz, who stated the pressing concern he heard was about the structural integrity of the tower.

“It’s a very positive step and it shows their willingness to be a good community partner.”
Diaz also acknowledged the advisory committee’s efforts to relocate the Huntington/Valentine tower, and added “there is some indication that Verizon is willing to work with the school district to relocate as well. We would like to see both cell towers relocated to a more appropriate area,” Diaz said.
The Tribune’s Krista Daly contributed to this story.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

GREAT NEWS!!! SMHS CELL TOWER TO BE RELOCATED. 
At March 10's School Board meeting, the Superintendent Cherniss announced that American Tower has agreed to relocate the cell tower away from SMHS.
The City is now responsible for finding a new site for relocation. Now the ball is in the City's court and we must continue to ask the City to conclude this as soon as possible.
We are thrilled. But efforts should not stop here. It's time for us to push the city even harder now for alternative sites for the TWO towers. Let's get things rolling while the momentum is in our favor.

Please take the time to thank the School Board for their efforts in making the impossible happen. 

Superintendent: Dr. Alex Cherniss <acherniss@smusd.us> and school board members:  http://www.smusd.us/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=242685&type=d&pREC_ID=570576

Thank you everyone for your support!






Monday, February 23, 2015



PLEASE ATTEND THE SMUSD SCHOOL BOARD MEETING TONIGHT:

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2015      7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

THE SCHOOL BOARD WILL VOTING ON THE COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL SAFETY PLAN. 

This is our opportunity to talk about the unsafe structural safety of the two SMUSD cell towers.

Please ask the School board:  Why are both cell towers still standing after 2 years when the cell towers were not proven to be structurally safe since they never had permits nor inspections?  

The SMHS cell tower lies on top of the Raymond Earthquake Fault Line and has been informally deemed an unsafe construction by the Division of State Architect, DSA.  Why after 2 years has no progress been made with the SMHS cell tower to get it either code compliant or relocated?

Every year the School Board votes on the Comprehensive School Safety Plan, CSSP.  Last year during this meeting we told the Board Members that the fall zone of both SMUSD cell towers would impact the evacuation plans of 3 school campuses.  The School Board ignored our comments and approved the CSSP without any changes to the evacuation plan.  

WHERE:  San Marino Unified School District
                 1665 West Drive San Marino, CA 91108 

LINK TO THE AGENDA:
ITEM #7 (m), CONSENT

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

City Council Hearing

WE NEED A LOT OF PEOPLE TO REMOVE THE VERIZON CELL TOWER.

PLEASE ATTEND THE FRIDAY, JULY 25 CITY COUNCIL HEARING AT 8 am

Here is the agenda for the hearing which will decide the fate of the Verizon cell tower at HMS and Valentine.

Scroll down to Pages 20-27:
Agenda Item #5

http://www.ci.san-marino.ca.us/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/07252014-599
City Council Hearing
Friday, July 25
8am
CROWELL PUBLIC LIBRARY (BARTH ROOM)
1890 Huntington Drive

Please attend this meeting. There is an organized effort by some of the neighborhoods to oppose the cell tower near their homes.

Hope to see you there.
XXX

Friday, July 18, 2014

Your help is needed to support the removal and relocation of the 80 foot Verizon cell tower in the SMUSD Maintenance yard

The City Council will hold a meeting on Friday, July 25, 2014 at 8 am to determine the fate of the Verizon cell tower in the SMUSD Maintenance yard (Located between Huntington Middle School and Valentine Elementary).

Verizon will be presenting an alternative sites analysis at this meeting and it is important that you attend the meeting and write a letter to the City Council to express your support of the removal and relocation of the Verizon cell tower. 

There is growing opposition to the top two alternate sites:  Old Mill Road Median and the parking lot near Thurner House in Lacy Park.  If there are only a few people that support the removal and relocation of the Verizon cell tower then there is a strong chance it will be forced to remain in the SMUSD Maintenance yard.

NOTE THE TROUBLING FACTS

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.

VERIZON COULD NOT FIND ANY OF ITS INSPECTION DOCUMENTS:  Since these documents were missing Verizon was required by the City to rebuild the cell tower.  Was this cell tower ever inspected? 

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 siting of the cell tower. 

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.  Verizon has a history at this site of evading code compliance.

TROUBLING SAFETY ISSUES

VERITICAL REAL ESTATE AT SMUSD:  Verizon has sub-leased space on this tower to other wireless companies 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.

CENTURY WINDS:  In 2011 there were winds that reached over a 100 mph.  The wind rating for this cell tower is only 75 mph.  Current International Building Codes now have a wind rating for cell towers in Los Angeles County at 85 mph. http://www.wirelessestimator.com/countywind_g.cfm

PROXIMITY TO EARTHQUAKE ZONE:  Verizon built the tower within ¼ mile of the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Zone.  http://seismic.apps.cironline.org/school/san-marino/huntington-middle/

FALL ZONE NOT SAFE FOR OUR KIDS –NOT LEAST INTRUSIVE SITE:  The tower’s fall zone has student classrooms, walkways, and playgrounds 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?

THE EVACUATION PLANS FOR BOTH SCHOOLS ARE UNDER THE FALL ZONE OF THE 80' CELL TOWER: Valentine Elementary has 6 classrooms evacuating under the cell tower. HMS has 11 classrooms and a Cafeteria full of children evacuating under the cell tower.

THE NEAREST CLASSROOM IS ONLY 18 FEET AWAY FROM THE BASE OF THE CELL TOWER:  Verizon did not even bother adding a chain link fence.  They merely used the back wall of the classroom to complete the fence enclosure.

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.

THE BACK UP GENERATOR’S (BUG) EXHAUST MANIFOLD IS ONLY A FEW FEET AWAY FROM THE AIR INTAKE OF A CLASSROOM’S AIR CONDITIONER.   The BUG has to be routinely started up in order to keep the engine primed. 

CONCLUSION: Verizon has a legal right to fill its coverage gap and needs to find a site that is the least intrusive means of filling that gap.  The cell tower is a safety hazard because of its close proximity to students and classrooms.  The cell tower should not be allowed to remain in the SMUSD Maintenance yard.

CALL TO ACTION:

This is a critical point in this fight and I ask that you write to the City to the SUPPORT REMOVAL AND RELOCATION OF THE VERIZON CELL TOWER.  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, 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 July 25 City Council meeting.

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

COUNCIL MEMBERS:
Eugene Sun ,
Richard Sun ,
Allan Yung ,
Richard J. Ward ,

Dennis Kneier ,
CC:
John Schaefer ,
Dave Saldana

Sincerely,

Concerned Parents of SMUSD
http://www.removecelltowers.blogspot.com/

Saturday, March 15, 2014

This may be our only chance to move Verizon's 80' cell tower off of SMUSD property completely.  

CALL TO ACTION:  PLEASE ATTEND THE CTAC MEETING ON TUESDAY, MARCH 18,  2014  @ 7:30 PM.  

We heard from Dave Saldana that Verizon will be moving  the cell tower possibly closer to the perimeter of the SMUSD Maintenance Yard. 

Verizon can't find any documentation to prove that the 80 foot cell tower was built according to plans and was inspected during its construction so their solution is to rebuild it so that they can get a CUP from the City.

Now is the time to give input into where the cell tower should go.

NOTE:  This meeting will be held at the Crowell Public Library in the Barth Room.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND THE AGENDA TO THIS MEETING:

Friday, October 11, 2013

Clarification: 

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