According to the Center for Municipal Solutions, there have been more than 150,000 communication tower facilities erected in the last 5 years and industry estimates are that more than 1 million more will be needed in the next few years. CMS suggests that as many as 50% of the towers erected in the last 5 years don’t need to exist, an even greater percentage don’t need to be as tall as they are and many wireless facilities, including towers, don’t need to be recognizable as such.
TheFCC licenses Wireless Service Providers in every community in the nation. All these providers need towers and/or buildings for their services. As a result, communities need to take control of the siting of cell towers in their jurisdictions. Here are some of the key resources that we’ve found that will help your community stay ahead of the game and able to protect your citizenry from the unnecessary blight of cell tower proliferation. Without an ordinance, any resident could willingly lease land for a tower without any review or discussion with the community at large.
The issue of health impacts from wireless communications systems is an issue of concern for many people and organizations. The EMR Policy Institute is tracking developments in this area. They note that the"Telecommunications Act of 1996 prevents states and local governments from “regulating the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission’s [FCC’s] regulations concerning such emissions."
- Towers and Wireless Facilities: What a Community Can Control – this page by the Center For Municipal Solutions shows the wide range of things that local communities can control related to communication towers. From costs and height to lighting and security, this listing of 24 items shows that communities can have a great deal of control over the potential impacts of communication towers.
- Dan Bricklin’s Cell Tower’s Resources and Extra Resources – very nice pages with stories and pictures of towers. He also has a nice little section with links to companies that camouflage towers to reduce their visual impacts.
- Scenic America’s section on Telecommunications Towers, a resource guide Taming Wireless Telecommunications Towers, and a Model Telecommunications Tower Ordinance
- Federal Communication Commission’s Tower and Antenna Siting Issues Site
- Federal Communication Commission’s Radio Frequency Safety Site
- Canyon Area Residents for the Environment – Colorado citizens fighting a 730 ft tall communication tower
- EMR Policy Institute
- EMR Network: Citizens and Professionals for the Responsible Use of Electromagnetic Radiation
- Cellular Tower Zoning, Siting, Leasing and Franchising: Federal Developments and Municipal Interests – John W. Pestle, Varnum, Riddering’s Energy and Telecommunications Practice Group, September 2001
- Cell-Phone Towers and Communities: The Struggle for Local Control – by B. Blake Levitt, 1998
- A Clear Call – America Unplugged: A Guide to the Wireless Issue – by B. Blake Levitt, 1997
- Wave-Guide: EMF/RFR Bioeffects and Public Policy