The news, both in the New Mexico state legislature and the City of Santa Fe, is incredible.
First the City: Mayor Javier Gonzales has declared a “bad cell phone reception” state of emergency permitting Verizon to begin putting cell towers and antennas anywhere on city property without application and without land use review, beginning tomorrow. The press release was issued this morning at 10:19 a.m. He has declared a SIX MONTH state of emergency under the city’s Riot Control Ordinance! I kid you not. He has way overstepped his authority. The Riot Control Ordinance only allows him to set a curfew, prohibit firearms in public places, and prohibit the sale of alcohol. Our City Code does not exempt “temporary” wireless facilities from zoning review. I am in a state of shock. I am pasting the Mayor’s Proclamation of Emergency below this email. If he gets away with this, you can be sure the industry will try this elsewhere.
Now the State of New Mexico: The wireless industry has drafted an ordinance that will be introduced in the 2018 session titled “Network Nodes Deployment Act.” It is bolder than anything we’ve seen so far. It states that cell towers and antennas in the public rights-of-way that are less than 50 feet tall or 10 feet taller than the tallest existing utility pole within 500 feet, whichever is taller, are “not subject to zoning review and approval.” Period.
The lawsuit against the City, which we had already been putting together will be filed at the end of this week. We intend to put RF radiation on trial and challenge the constitutionality of Section 704 of the Telecommunications Act.
WE NEED DONATIONS TO PAY FOR THIS LAWSUIT. Please help if you can, by going to the donations page on our website: http://www.cellphonetaskforce.org/?page_id=196 (choose “Santa Fe Campaign” as the purpose of your donation).
P.O. Box 6216
Santa Fe, NM 87502
CITY OF SANTA FE
PROCLAMATION OF EMERGENCY
I, Javier M. Gonzales, Mayor of the City of Santa Fe, New Mexico, hereby determine that an emergency exists in the City resulting from insufficient telecommunications capacity in the City, which have caused or are causing danger, or injury or damage to persons and property within the City.
I hereby invoke all of the regulations necessary to preserve the peace and order in the City of Santa Fe, New Mexico that are set forth in Section 20-1.1 through 20-1.5 of the Santa Fe City Code of 1987.
I hereby declare that this Proclamation will become effective upon my signature and order the City Manager to disseminate the contents hereof to the public by appropriate news media and any other means at the Manager’s disposal.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
City Staff is authorized to work with Verizon Wireless to install temporary and/or mobile wireless telecommunications facilities on City property pending review and approval of fixed wireless facilities within the City; and
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the purpose of these temporary telecommunications facilities is to supplement the capacity of the cellular networks in the City so that emergency responders, like police, fire, and EMS will be able to better communicate with their departments, other agencies, and most importantly, the public.
This Proclamation of Emergency terminates automatically six months after it becomes effective unless sooner terminated by proclamation of the Mayor.
DONE at Santa Fe, New Mexico this 21st day of November 2017.
JAVIER M. GONZALES, MAYOR
City of Santa Fe, New Mexico