Nevada City Council postpones Verizon appeal | TheUnion.com

Nevada City Council postpones Verizon appeal

The Nevada City Council opted to agree with Verizon Wireless’ requests to continue an appeal of the Planning Commission’s denial for a request to place eight antennas atop a building at 109 N. Pine St.

Council members heard from both the project’s applicant as well as a group of folks opposed to postponing the appeal.

“I urge the city council not to be confused by the attempt of Verizon’s lawyer in his very biased seven page letter received only a week ago to bully you and to muddle the issues,” Penn Valley’s David Adams said to the council during a public comment period on the item.

“I would like to second the suggestions to make a decision about the appeal on Dec. 14 rather than delay it for several more months,” Nevada City’s Paula Orloff said during the meeting as well. “My feeling is that has been discussed quite throughly. I hope that you would come to a decision on Dec. 14. Just consider that whatever is decided, it will be locked in for 25 years at discretion of the telecom companies. During that time it is apparent that issues can come up. Including certain liability issues regarding health for the property owners.”

“Verizon is acting like a big bully with the veiled threat of a lawsuit,” Richard Cristdahl said during the meeting. “I would seriously consider denying their request for an extension and let’s deal with it in December.”

Project applicant Mark Lobaugh from Epic Wireless LLC representing Verizon also spoke during the public comment period.

“We’re requesting to move to March 8, it isn’t just about finding alternative sites,” Lobaugh said. “There are very complicated issues. I need time to prepare. This is an infrastructure improvement that will be free of charge to the city.”

The panel of council members were in general consensus about not wanting the cellular antennas placed in the historic downtown district, yet were ok with allowing the project applicants the opportunity to come back with alternative sites when revisiting the project in March.

“I feel we’ve known that from day one that there are better locations, and I am glad that other options are coming forth even though it is after the Planning Commission denial,” Councilmember Duane Strawser said on the matter, and mentioned that he wouldn’t vote for any cell project in the downtown district.

“I think if you took a straw poll, that downtown isn’t a good location for the antennas,” Mayor Evans Phelps said. “I see no reason not to wait until March. Hopefully by then there can be a suitable location by then. We lost this cause. We just have to do the best that we can. I think a delay is a good idea.”

To contact Staff Writer Elias Funez email efunez@theunion.com, or call 530-477-4230.