Cell towers aka wireless facilities in public right-of-way and on city property

Proposed by WRAC LUPC on June 21, 2017
Formally adopted by WRAC in August 2017 | Download the WRAC position letter
Passed by
  • Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council
  • Brentwood Community Council
  • Del Rey Neighborhood Council
  • Mar Vista Community Council
  • Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa
  • Pacific Palisades Community Council
  • Palms Neighborhood Council
  • South Robertson Neighborhoods Council
  • Venice Neighborhood Council
  • West LA-Sawtelle Neighborhood Council
  • Westside Neighborhood Council
  • Westwood Community Council
  • Westwood Neighborhood Council


WRAC recommends opposing SB 649, which removes from cities the discretionary regulation of “small cell” cell phone towers in the public right-of-way and on city property. Exceptions for historic zones and Coastal Zone are included, but scenic highways and R zones are not included. Local control should be maintained. Cities have capability to properly analyze applications within existing laws and balance protection of neighborhoods with the need for increased wireless capacity.


More information in the talking points attachment. WRAC previously weighed in on the issue in 2010, 2011, and 2013.

On June 21, 2017, WRAC authorized sending a letter stating its long advocacy for local control of cell towers (attached below).

Full text of the bill: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB649

Status: Senate approved bill, which is similar to a bill from last year. Assembly will consider it next. Telecom companies need more pole space and facilities for 5G capacity.

  • Sizes of cell panels are big (6 cu. ft.) and sizes of equipment panels are big (21 cu.ft.), and can be reduced.
  • Telecom companies can spend more money to rent space on existing public poles (streetlights, etc.).
  • Opponents to bill include 100 cities, League of California Cities, League of California Counties, American Planning Institute.

Passed by all 13 Westside Neighborhood and Community Councils.