Cell Towers Disguised As Other Things

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

When I was as Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Bernardino, even though I advised staff  on cable television issues, cell towers were a land use issue handled by another attorney.  However, when I was Assistant City Attorney for the City of Redlands, I was a little more involved, especially in regards to advising the Planning Commission.  By the time I arrived in the City of Redlands, the cell towers had long been disguised. I believe the palm trees were first, then pine trees, and the mobile telephone companies even had a eucalyptus tree, which at least as a mockup, looked good.

Yesterday, a public relations specialist for a firm retained by AT&T sent me a press release as blog fodder that included this photograph:









According to the public relations specialist, this is a on South I Street near the corner of West Mill Street. As you can see, they are looking better then they used to.  AT&T is not paying me for this, but the press release says that AT&T is increasing capacity and enabling 4G in San Bernardino.  The photograph has been edited in Photoshop according to the metadata, so I’m not sure if this is an actual existing site, or the mock-up that wireless companies present to Planning Commissions before approval.  I am not a Photoshop expert, so I won’t say that I can tell by looking at the pixels and from having seen a few in my time.  Needless to say, I’m a customer, so any time they improve service without raising my rates, I’m all for it.

Once in Redlands, the Planning Commission actually asked that a tower (located in an industrial area) not be camouflaged and the wireless telecommunications provider was thrilled to not have to spend money on camouflaging the tower.

The AT&T tower shown above looks much better than the fake pine tree that you see on the South 330 Westbound 210 connector in Highland which has a glowing red light at night.  As time has gone on, local wireless telecommunications ordinances have required better looking fake trees, and as you see in the photograph, real or Photoshopped, better landscaping, including real trees to offset the fake tree.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog.  You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.
A: 300 E. State St. Suite 517
      Redlands, CA 92373-5235
T: (909) 296-6708