Until it happens to your town, this sort of news seems like another distant struggle. When we — residents of Boulder Creek — discovered that a 50-foot cell tower had been proposed smack in the heart of their historic downtown, we were shattered. We are currently in a battle with Verizon over the location of a proposed cell tower. We are asking the county of Santa Cruz to uphold the county code and deny this application. The third hearing is set for 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 20 at the county building, 701 Ocean Street, 5th floor in Santa Cruz.
Based on strong public opposition, the property owners want it moved to a different site, but Verizon still plans to build a 50-foot cell tower at 13260 Big Basin Highway (across from Mountain Mechanics and behind Johnnie's Market). Verizon said at the first hearing their main objective for this cell tower is to accommodate for potential future data growth, not to improve service for Boulder Creek or patch a service gap in Brookdale as stated in their application. All of Boulder Creeks’ downtown, the only elementary school, two daycares, the fire department, library, recreation and park district including Junction Park, a dentist office and medical offices will all be within 1000 feet of the cell tower.
At the first hearing 26 people spoke, at the second 25 people spoke many of them new speakers. Both times it was unanimously against the cell tower and it's currently proposed location. Santa Cruz planning department, Bruce McPherson's office, and the property owners have received numerous communications opposed.
Our petition currently has 250-plus signatures, almost all of them paper signatures. We just started the online petition on September 7. Our arguments are based on county code, our town plan, case law, and analysis of Verizon's simulation photos which misrepresent the real visual impact. In two of the images they provided, the cell tower is not 50 feet tall, it is well below the 40 foot mark. In addition, real estate values and the historic quality of our beloved town will be reduced if the proposed cell tower is approved. For more information on our group: www.facebook.com/StopBoulderCreekCellTower.
How you can help:
- Sign the petition goo.gl/A8SUcc
- Contact Frank Barron at the County Planning Department at 454-2530 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact Supervisor Bruce McPherson at 454-2200 or email@example.com
- Most importantly, attend the hearing.
- Rachel Wooster is a resident of Boulder Creek.