The opposition follows a trend among Dewey Beach, Del., residents who are frustrated the town has little control over wireless infrastructure installed in areas maintained by the Delaware Department of Transportation.
(TNS) — During a
The opposition follows an ongoing trend among community members and commissioners who are frustrated that the town has little control over wireless infrastructure installed on roads and rights of way maintained by the
Cooke said he and the town agree with many of the residents' comments, especially aesthetic concerns about the poles obstructing beach views.
"We have no desire for (the 5G poles)," Cooke said. "It's because of federal regulations and state regulations that we're required to allow them in, and we're doing everything we can to properly regulate them."
Following the 2 1/2 -hour hearing,
This list of standards was approved separately and included several requirements, including:
— Poles must be at least 50 feet from the midpoint of a beach entrance.
— New structures must be at least 100 feet from each other.
— Wireless companies should first consider installing equipment on existing utility or light poles, known as colocating.
The only changes to these standards were a clarification that new poles must be 100 feet from each other and that the distancing requirements did not apply if a company wished to colocate its equipment near existing wireless technology.
While the town council is hopeful that the ordinance and standards will help prevent more poles that take away from the "small beach town aesthetic," right now telecommunications companies still go through DelDOT for permitting and approval.
The town planned to amend an agreement with the state, which would give
But that decision was tabled for the commissioners to discuss and vote upon at a future meeting.
The new ordinance responded to some of the concerns from town residents like those who spoke at Tuesday's hearing.
One common thread was a question posed by resident
Both Winton and
They raised concerns about these companies investing in structures near the beach simply so visitors can stream videos or "have the convenience of downloading their funny cat videos whenever they want."
Others, like resident
In response, a representative from AT&T
Divis joined the call to respond to questions from commissioners and said he wished to build a stronger relationship with the community.
Still, many residents said they were ready to battle telecommunications companies that they believe are "ruining their peaceful and idyllic views," as
"I'm really disturbed and upset that this is even happening, that we're letting these big tech companies overrule all the citizens and homeowners of
Many who spoke said they were looking for any solution or action that could prevent these companies from installing 5G poles without the town's approval.
"We've done some research on that, and it doesn't look like it has positive outcomes," he said.
If the town cannot work with DelDOT and control the future of wireless infrastructure at
"What would happen if the town said enough is enough and we took those towers down?" Proctor asked the council.
(c)2021 Dover Post, Del. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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