The Clairemont Times • December 2011 • 9
Clocks, Trees & Cell Phone Towers At the November Clairemont Community Planning Group (CCPG) meeting an item on the agenda was about an existing cell phone tower on Mt Ada Road in Clairemont. This particular tower has probably been there for close to 20 years. I guess when you are not looking for such things you don’t really notice them; however the members of the CCPG were well aware of it. At roughly 120ft in height I am now definitely aware of this structure, in fact I find myself seeing cell towers all over the place now. Some are small; some are large but make no mistake if you look you can find them. Since the majority of us are all carrying some sort of device to communicate at a moment’s notice I got to thinking about the aesthetic price we pay for convenience. A design presented to the committee and the public in attendance at the meeting was quite informative. The architect showed a couple different types of poles but for the most part all the same and still the same height. The cordial back and forth between the group representing the cell tower and the CCPG was interesting. An idea from some of the committee members was how about just getting rid of the pole entirely and maybe have two 60 foot poles in different locations. A fine solution I thought and still do, but that would mean finding another site for the second 60 ft pole. Another idea from a committee member was take it down entirely and stop polluting the skyline, again a good idea but probably not going to happen. In the end the issue is not resolved by any stretch. I am of the opinion it will be multiple months if not a year before the final plans are approved. As this particular project continues on I will update you, although I encourage residents to attend these CCPG meetings to learn about such developments in our community. The Linda Vista Solution After listening to the presentation then actually seeing the structure I remembered a news piece about this exact same issue in Linda Vista. They too had a cell phone tower issue only they solved it and it is now a landmark clock tower at the corners of Genesee and Linda Vista Roads.
The Linda Vista Planning Group fought long and hard for a couple years and in the end they got what they wanted. The cell tower is now the “clock tower” and is a functioning piece of the community and not just a sterile pole. It really is a win win for the community a cell tower and a landmark clock tower for future generations to admire. Interesting note as well, if you look at the large flag pole on the same corner again mixed use, flag pole and a cell tower. If local residents and businesses attend these meetings amicable solutions can be reached. Linda Vista has proven this. Public input from the community is vital to such success stories. Imperial Beach With my new found interest in cell phone tower designs (thank you Google) I have found today’s technology can mask these poles in quite interesting ways. From Saguaro trees in the Arizona desert to Water Tower looking structures in the Midwest. Locally, I found a couple of other designs on a trip down to Imperial Beach (see accompanying pictures). One is quite pathetic it is the typical tall cell phone tower with what looks like some palm frawns crazy glued at the top. Another one two blocks away is actually pretty realistic looking. Even though it is tree-like there are no other like specimens in the park, but again it does look better than sterile. This particular one also has lights on it so again dual functionality for the park and safety at night. The point of this expose you might ask? I am trying to encourage residents to be involved and attend future CCPG meetings. With the exception of December (no meeting) the group meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month at the Livewell San Diego Center, 4425 Bannock Ave, 92117 6:30pm. I cannot guarantee such an interesting meeting as this latest one but I can guarantee you will walk away with some new information about your community.
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December 2011 The Clairemont Times