Residents of historic Carroll Park went into an appeal hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 6, armed with documentation showing the city itself required construction in the area to have a certificate of appropriateness saying the work would fit in with the rest of the historic area.
The appeal was regarding placement of a 5G Wireless Transmission Facility as part of a partnership between the city and Verizon for a citywide network. The appeal was before an independent arbiter because the city issued the first permit for a pole at 358 Carroll Park East, replacing a street light pole.
No decision has been issued. Jennifer Carey, communications officer for the city's Public Works Department, said the hearing officer has until Jan. 29 to report his conclusions.
Unlike previous appeals based on aesthetics or property value impacts — which have all been turned down — the Carroll Park appeal focuses on installation in the middle of the historic district. The Carroll Park Association suggests several alternative locations in the area that, they say, would provide the wireless 5G signals just as well.
Friday, the city sent a press release out detailing the Verizon deal. The project advances the city's efforts to improve wireless connectivity citywide, according to the release.
The agreement allows Verizon to install up to 400 small cell wireless transmission facilities where there are city-owned poles or street lights. Each installation requires a permit, and Verizon will pay the city $100 per pole a year for up to 20 years. Verizon also will run 5G fiber-optic cable, including about 9 miles of fiber network conduit between city facilities.
Other components of the agreement help the city's efforts to improve digital inclusion, Mayor Robert Garcia said in the release. As part of the agreement, Verizon is providing 100 Mi-Fi hotspot devices activated with four years of service. There also is a $50,000 payment to the Long Beach Public Library Foundation, which will be used to purchase Chromebooks to be checked out through the library system.
Distributed antenna systems will be installed at the Long Beach Convention Center and the Long Beach Airport. Finally, Verizon will provide hardware and software to conduct a traffic study including intersection safety and traffic congestion to improve traffic flow on major city streets.