Proposed Assembly Bill Would Override Key Provisions of Glendale’s Protective Wireless Ordinance 4


I’ve received a copy of Assembly Member Holden’s Fact Sheet on AB 162, which has been christened the “Broadband Expansion Act.” I’ve rechristened it the “Wireless Industry Gift and Public Exclusion Act of 2013.”

The quote above opens former consultant to the city of Glendale Jonathan Kramer’s alert on AB 162, introduced by newly-elected 41st Assembly District representative Chris Holden.

The bill would not allow municipalities to evaluate whether a wireless provider needs to add capacity to existing facilities. It would nullify Glendale’s requirement in these cases that applicants must describe “how the coverage gap will be filled by the proposed installation.” (Section 12.08.037 G.7.)

Kramer provides detailed analysis of the bill’s language, concluding:

Assembly Bill 162 is one of the worst bills that would essentially kill public input into wireless siting process for collocations in California. It would speed up the process to the point where the public would be denied any effective opportunity to have any meaningful review, much less input, on proposed wireless collocations (which seem to be the bulk of wireless projects in California now).

The authority of a local government in California to place the burden of proof on a wireless carrier to demonstrate the existence of a significant gap in its coverage has been established under Federal law since the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ MetroPCS v. City and County of San Francisco decision in 2005. There is no reason for the State of California to act to limit this authority.

Cell Phone Carriers & the FCC, in Microwave News, alleges that the federal government is not enforcing its own safety standards for radiofrequency exposure. State resources aren’t devoted to such enforcement, so if cities cannot evaluate whether an addition to a cell site causes it to exceed radiation limits, what governing entity will?

This week Los Angeles City Council member Paul Koretz introduced a resolution opposing AB 162 because “authority over land use planning and zoning laws is the most fundamental of local issues and the City must maintain the ability to make decisions that make sense for local communities and neighborhoods.”

Burbank City Council member Emily Gabel Luddy brought up similar concerns at that city’s April 2 regular council meeting.

Those in Glendale, Pasadena, and throughout California concerned about preserving the small amount of discretion municipalities now have over wireless facility citing should contact their municipal representatives and Assembly representatives immediately with concerns about AB 162.

4 thoughts on “Proposed Assembly Bill Would Override Key Provisions of Glendale’s Protective Wireless Ordinance

  • Miriam

    Here we go again….The CTIA, The Wireless Industry, has a strong lobby that keeps pressuring the FCC to shorten the “shot clock” once again. I believe we were having this same discussion in 2009. The CTIA will keep chipping away at all our rights to have a little public input into the siting of wireless antennas and it makes me wonder why our municipal government or the FCC won’t do more to protect what few rights we do have.

  • Susan Becker

    The uphill battle and added edge to the Wireless Industry and FCC in my experience/opinion really stems from the public itself. Whenever I have discussed this issue with a wide variety/spectrum of people the majority supports and endorses it. People love their wireless technology, rely on it and want it to be available everywhere, faster and support improving the quality. They also don’t get the aspect of competing providers overlapping… I even had discussions where people supported setting up cell towers all over Griffith Park, a space sparsely populated and where we should just enjoy nature… I truly believe that the only thing that will have an impact (and even then, who knows) is if serious health consequences result in the years ahead.

  • Jonathan Kramer

    Assembly Bill 162 was modified by its author on 4/23 with many, many amendments that appear to throw a bone at local governments. Unfortunately, that bone is aimed to smack local governments squarely in the head. The result of the amendments is that the Bill, as now set out, is even worse than when originally proposed.

    I have posted a very long and detailed analysis at I encourage you to read it, download the linked PDF, and get the word out. The first hearing will occur next Wednesday (May 1, of all days) in the Assembly’s Local Government Committee.

    This Bill remains the “WIPE ACT” (the Wireless Industry Public Exclusion Act).

    Jonathan Kramer

  • MJ

    We are losing our rights to choose to live in a low EMF environment. Just because people ignore or deny the health concerns doesn’t mean the issues aren’t there. People wake up!!!

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