small cell transmitter

A picture of a 5G small cell facility from the city's website.

Residents of Carroll Park, a designated historic district, are attempting to fight installation of a 5G Wireless Transmission Facility near the center of the district.

The Carroll Park Association, along with residents close to the proposed site at 358 Carroll Park East, filed an appeal to the permit allowing a pole with panels to push out wireless communication signals to be installed. That pole would replace a current street light pole.

The appeal hearing was scheduled Wednesday morning as a virtual WebEx meeting. Results were unavailable at press time.

Carroll Park resident Darren Grosch said that he and others believe the Wireless Transmission Facility (WTF) would be an eyesore in the historic district. 

"Residents in Carroll Park are not opposed to 5G WTF, we are just asking that the city consider alternative locations," Grosch wrote in an email, "such as the southeast parkette where it could be partially hidden by palm trees; by Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church across from the north park, or on Wisconsin Avenue (which backs up to CPE)."

Grosch and an email from the residents association both point out that the installation did not have to apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness like they do if they want to make changes to the exterior of their homes. The residents association email said that would be the central theme of the appeal.

However, Jennifer Carey, communications officer for the city's Public Works Department, said the street light pole is not a historic element and therefore is not given the same protections as a home or other infrastructure.

"This location went through multiple rounds of review prior to permitting to ensure the location is in alignment with Federal Communication Commission compliance and Long Beach Municipal Code 15.34," Carey said via email.

The installation is part of a larger contract with Verizon signed by the City Council in 2018 to install 5G connectivity across the city. A separate permit already has been issued to install 5G fiberoptic cables underground in Carroll Park.

Carey said the city has created a webpage specifically to provide information about the 5G installation. Go to longbeach.gov/pw/resources/small-cells/ for more information.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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