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AB57: End of Local Cell Site Zoning in California?

AB 57, no longer called the “Broadband Communications Infrastructure Act”  has now morphed into the wireless industry’s dream: a deemed approved remedy for cell tower siting, and (vitally) a statewide policy shift that cell sites are NOT a municipal concern; rather they are matter best left for the state.

AB 57 has become an exercise in bait and switch: The pro-consumer first version of AB 57 (the bait) has morphed to be a huge gift to the wireless industry (the switch).

Here’s what the bill says now:

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

Section 65964.1 is added to the Government Code to read:

(a) A colocation or siting application for a wireless telecommunications facility, as defined in Section 65850.6, shall be deemed approved if both of the following occur:

(1) The city or county fails to approve or disapprove the application within the time periods established by the Federal Communications Commission in In re Petition for Declaratory Ruling, 24 FCC Rcd. 13994 (2009).

(2) All public notices regarding the application have been provided consistent with the public notice requirements for the
application.

(b) The Legislature finds and declares that a wireless telecommunications facility has a significant economic impact in California and is not a municipal affair as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution, but is a matter of statewide concern.

Assembly Member Bill Quirk, a Democrat from California’s 20th District, has created language that even the FCC was unwilling to do: AB 57 creates a ‘deemed approved’ remedy for shot clock issues related to new sites and collocations that are not covered by Section 6409(a).

Here’s the kicker: Assembly Member Bill Quirk’s legislation says that cell siting is NOT a local affair, but rather one of statewide interest. This would mark the start of state-wide preemption of cell tower siting if this legislation becomes law.

This is a massive gift bill to California’s wireless industry at the expense of Assembly Member Quirk’s constituents, and every resident in California.

Time to put the brakes on this ill-conceived legislation that has the wireless industry’s fingerprints all over it.

Why not call and ask Assembly Member Quirk why he’s favoring the wireless industry over his own constituents.

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1 comment to AB57: End of Local Cell Site Zoning in California?

  • Thank you for the information on AB 57. We are a neighborhood group fighting a cell installation in our residential neighborhood in Oakland. I will pass this information along. Hopefully Loni Hancock and Tony Thurmond know how dangerous this is although most people don’t have a clue.

    Thank you.
    Deborah Yaffe

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