By Karen Billing
An online petition to stop AT&T from installing cell towers on the Carmel Valley Library is gaining support, already generating 160 signatures.
To increase coverage and capacity needs, AT&T has proposed 12 antennas and 24 new remote radio units (RRUs) mounted inside raised cupola enclosures on the library on Townsgate Drive in Carmel Valley.
AT&T is currently in the process of adjusting height and location concerns for the cupolas, which are towers with a domed roof. The cupola structures were originally proposed to be 45 feet high, taller than the library’s existing dome of 41 feet.
According to Stephanie Lucero, one of the residents who started the petition, the community should oppose the project for the health risks associated with cell towers, the potential impacts on home values, the negative impact to the aesthetics of the Carmel Valley Library, and noise and safety concerns associated with construction.
“This proposed project has many negative impacts on our community and does not offer anything positive in return. Sure, AT&T claims that we will have improved cell phone reception. This may be true, but at what expense?” said Lucero. “We are exposing our children and residents of our community to a possible health threat. We will potentially see decreased home values in the adjacent residential community. We are destroying the architectural design of our library and altering the skyline in a negative way.”
So far there has been one community outreach meeting about the cell sites on Jan. 28 and, according to Jaime Moore, a spokesperson for AT&T, a second meeting will be scheduled and residents will be notified.
“AT&T plans to continue to invest in the Carmel Valley wireless network with the goal of improving call quality and data speeds. We remain committed to working with the community,” Moore said. “Currently, our engineers are refining our proposed design. Once updated plans are available, we plan to present them to the community. We are dedicated to transparency throughout this process.”
The petition can be signed at www.change.org/petitions/at-t-deny-at-t-s-application-to-install-a-wireless-communications-facility-at-the-carmel-valley-library.