Encinitas sets meeting on new 5G wireless facilities policy


5G wireless stations are generally smaller than traditional cell towers and can be placed in a variety of locations. Pictured here are cell telecommunications antennas and repeaters. (Photo by Stratos Giannikos, iStock Getty Images)

North Coast Current

The city of Encinitas seeks residents’ input Sept. 23 on a policy covering 5G wireless facilities.

The workshop, which takes place 5-7 p.m. at the Encinitas Community Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive, will discuss the city’s new emergency ordinance and policy designed to address FCC rules limiting local control over placement and operation of small wireless facilities, according to a city news release.

The city’s new policy aims to establish standards and procedures addressing such issues as facility locations, aesthetics, construction and operation.

In September 2018, the Federal Communications Commission set restrictions on cities’ abilities to regulate local 5G infrastructure. In addition to imposing tight deadlines for approval or rejection of cellular equipment installation, the new FCC rules restrict the amount of money cities can charge wireless companies for the placement of hardware on public property.

The FCC’s actions have drawn scrutiny from local governments over the past year. United States Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran criticized the new regulations in a Sept. 26, 2018, statement.

“The Commission has embarked on an unprecedented federal intrusion into local (and state) government property rights that will have substantial and continuing adverse impacts on cities and their taxpayers, including reduced funding for essential local government services, and needlessly introduce increased risk of right-of-way and other public safety hazards,” Cochran wrote.

Encinitas city officials invite public comments ahead of the Sept. 23 workshop, according to the city’s announcement. Residents can contact city planner Roy Sapa’u by phone at 760-633-2734 or by email at [email protected].

More information is also available online at the city’s Small Wireless Facilities webpage: encinitasca.gov/Government/Departments/Development-Services/Planning-Division/Land-Development/Small-Wireless-Facilities.

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