The City Voice

The City Voice, 1997
(quoted with permission)

By Carol Dimmick

Supervisor Tom Ammiano recently introduced a resolution supporting federal legislation which could return local control to critical issues concerning telecommunications facilities.

"This is a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of local control over antennas," said Ammiano.

Supervisor Ammiano's resolution supports Senate bill 1350, introduced in the Senate by Patrick Leahy (D. Vt.) on Oct. 30 and cosponsored in the House of Representatives by Bernard Saunders (I.Vt.). The bill would amend section 332 of the Communications Act of 1934 and return authority to state and local governments over the placement, construction and modification of telecommunication facilities.

In addition, Senator Leahy's bill would establish local authority for environmental review of facilities and prohibit the FCC from adopting any rule which would preempt state and local regulation of the placement of facilities.

Leahy's bill is an attempt to block the FCC from adopting a rule which, if unamended, would preempt state and local zoning and land use ordinances which potentially present obstacles to the placement of equipment for the new digital television (DTV) service.

The City also took a firm stand against the new FCC rule when, on October 30, 1997, City Attorney Louise Renne filed an opposition.

In the opposition, the City Attorney pointed to Sutro Tower as an example of the need for local review for two main reasons: (1) to protect the health and safety of residents and (2) to ensure that structures are consistent with the City's land use plan and policies.
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