Sixteen above-ground cabinets need to be installed throughout Solana Beach as part of a proposed citywide fiber optic network, and city staff will be conducting outreach to help determine the locations and designs for each one.
At their Nov. 13 meeting, council members discussed reaching out to nearby property owners of one of the proposed boxes, located near the intersection of Santa Rosita and Santa Dominga, for feedback in selecting one of two proposed design options: “Birds of Paradise” or “Agave Galore.”
The artwork for that proposed box, as well as others located near residential areas, was designed to blend in with its surroundings, according to Jack Demers, CEO of Netly Fiber. The city hired Netly to install its fiber optic network, which uses fiber optic cables for higher-performance internet and other telecommunications services.
“We want to improve the neighborhood,” Demers told council members at last week’s meeting. “We want to bring fiber to the community, we want to invest in the internet infrastructure. So we want to have a positive impact on the community.”
All of the proposed locations for boxes are in public rights of way. Each box measures approximately five feet tall, five feet wide and 16 inches deep, according to a city staff report.
Demers said each box could be moved about 10 feet, possibly more, if council members or local residents take issue with any of the currently proposed locations. Solana Beach Mayor David Zito mentioned the possibility of pushing back the box proposed for the intersection of South Cedros Avenue and Rosa Street, given the already narrow sidewalk along Cedros, where many residents and visitors walk.
Each cabinet connects to a fiber center at the Citibank building at the intersection of Lomas Santa Fe and Solana Hills drives, according to city staff.
“This is even more personal I think,” Deputy Mayor Jewel Edson said. “I would just encourage, if possible, that we reach out to the people who are going to live with it every day.”
“I would be unhappy if it were right in front of my house,” City Councilwoman Kelly Harless said.
The city’s public works director, Mo Sammak, said no public outreach over the box locations had taken place as of last week’s council meeting. After receiving feedback on the design for the box at Santa Rosita and Santa Dominga, council members and city staff will determine how best to conduct outreach to the properties next to the adjacent boxes.
“We want it to be something that the city likes, and the community likes,” Demers said.