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Council Hearing on Cell Towers in Neighborhoods

For those of you concerned about the alternatives to cell tower placement in residential areas, the date of the Council hearing has been changed.

Dear Neighborhood or Business activist:
We are very sorry for this very late notice, but due to conflicts and holiday schedules, we just discovered that we will have to move this item from Wednesday, November 26, 2008 to Thursday, December 4, 2008. The amendments to the wireless contracts will be on the Dec 4 Council Agenda as a Time Certain item beginning at 2:30 PM.

Please forward this to anyone who may be interested.

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact us. Thank you, and again we apologize for the late notice.

David Soloos, Assistant Director
Office of Cable and Franchise Management
City of Portland, Oregon
1120 SW 5th Av, Room 1305
Portland, Oregon 97204
Tel 503.823.5359

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From: Soloos, David (Cable)
Sent: Friday, November 14, 2008 6:19 PM
To: Soloos, David (Cable)
Cc: Riddick, Melvin; Justice, Carol
Subject: WIRELESS UPDATE: City Council will Take Action on Ordinances regarding ALTERNATIVES TO CELL TOWERS on November 26, 2008.

Dear Neighborhood or Business activist:

On Wednesday, November 26, 2008, city staff will be going to Council with the final proposed amendments regarding the manner in which wireless companies may place antennae on utility poles, and replace utility poles with taller ones for wireless purposes.

The proposed amendments are designed to balance the need to retain neighborhood character and livability with the expanding need to provide wireless services in neighborhoods. They were developed over the course of two years. Staff conducted three public forums in March, 2008, followed by an online survey in April-May, 2008 (that was responded to by over 900 people, and over 350 individual comments were also received), followed by a citywide public meeting in October, 2008.

In short, staff is proposing to allow antennae on utility poles in residential areas on residential streets only as a last resort – when no other site or combination of sites for antennae is feasible. Even then, staff proposes to reduce the allowed pole replacement height in residential zones, and increase the replacement height allowance in both commercial, employment and industrial zones and on larger arterial streets to encourage placement there instead. In addition, the poles and equipment must be the smallest possible and must be painted to match the color of the pole. Finally, when a taller pole is proposed in a residential area, we will require the wireless carrier to conduct a meeting in coordination with the neighborhood association and provide notice of the meeting in advance.

We have placed several documents on our website to demonstrate and describe what we are proposing. Each document is numbered, titled and described for ease of reference.

The document list can be viewed at http://www.portlandonline.com/cable/index.cfm?c=46289 .

Examples of specific documents include:

A summary of the existing requirements, document #15

A summary of the proposed requirements, document #20

A comparison of current and proposed pole replacement heights, document #19

The proposed contract amendment showing the exact edits to the contract language (“redline”), document #17

A clean version of the proposed contract amendment, document #18

A new application checklist the wireless carriers must fill out, document #16

Several other documents, including the survey instrument, summarized survey results and specific survey results, are also on the website.

We encourage you to review these materials and forward this notice to anyone you know who might be interested.

For more information please contact Melvin Riddick at 503-823-0066 or Melvin.Riddick@ci.portland.or.us. If Melvin is unavailable please contact me using my contact information below. Thank you very much,

David Soloos, Assistant Director
Office of Cable and Franchise Management
City of Portland, Oregon
1120 SW 5th Av, Room 1305
Portland, Oregon 97204
Tel 503.823.5359

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