We are providing this page for San Rafael’s 60,000+ residents who are precariously positioned in the path of new technology that has been scientifically proven to be harmful.
The San Rafael Council meets on first and third Mondays at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 1400 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael.
The San Rafael Planning Commission meets on second and fourth Tuesdays at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 1400 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael.
All Marin County meetings are held at Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 328, San Rafael, California.
If the following list is out of date, please consult the links immediately above.
We want to work with San Rafael City Council and City Staff to prevent 5G cell towers from being installed on utility or light poles in the residential areas of San Rafael to protect our safety, privacy and property values.
The World Health Organization has classified radio frequency microwave electromagnetic fields from any source (pulsed, data-modulated, Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation) as a Group 2B Carcinogen. However, Dr. Lennart Hardell, a member of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) comments on the National Toxicology Program final results that RF microwave radiation should be classified as Group 1, an agent that is carcinogenic to humans.
"[Group 1] is used when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. Exceptionally, an agent may be placed in this category when evidence of carcinogenicity in humans is less than sufficient but there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals and strong evidence in exposed humans that the agent acts through a relevant mechanism of carcinogenicity."
We also know the technical specifications of the radiation being emitted by the 4G antennas, and we know that they harm living organisms. The next generation of Wireless, 5G, is going to aggregate bandwidth on frequencies from 600 MHz to 90,000 MHz and move large amounts of data through the air. Currently, there are no consumer RF microwave radiation meters capable of measuring 5G radiation levels. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/santa-rosa/cell-tower-radiation/
Every San Rafael homeowner needs to know that the installation of a Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antenna (“CPMRA”) will decrease the property value of the four homes in closest proximity to the antenna by at least 20%.
People living or working near a 5G antenna will be exposed to constant RF microwave radiation. Thousands of peer-reviewed studies have shown clear evidence of harm from wireless exposure, including significant increases in brain and heart tumors and damage to DNA.
While an antenna on a pole on your block may not be in front of your home, one installed in your neighborhood can allow AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint to claim remaining poles, including the pole nearest to your house. In addition to private homes, public gathering places such as schools and churches will also be unprotected from the harmful RF microwave radiation emissions from the 4G and 5G antennas.
The City of San Rafael, with the support and urging of residents, could resist profit-driven wireless densification by adopting new Wireless Municipal Codes and Zoning ordinances to regulate power output. Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) that exceed a level needed for telecommunication service (ability to make a call or text) are unnecessary and harmful.
Since Jerry Brown, the Governor of California, vetoed SB 649 on 10/15/17 with the support of The League of Cities representing over three hundred California cities, the telecommunication companies Verizon and AT&T have decided to wage a battle against Comcast to offer a Wireless Video subscription service and have strategized a city-by-city counterattack to upgrade the existing 3G or 4G status quo with the next generation of wireless, 5G. Though Californians have already been charged $16 Billion by the telecommunication companies to lay fiber optic cables directly to our homes, we have never received this service. Though they cannot prove the existence of any significant gaps in wireless telecommunication service (an inability to place a call or text), AT&T and Verizon intend to preempt local authority and install 4G and 5G antennas on our electric utility poles and locally owned light poles. They are not concerned with aesthetics nor health effects. They are concerned only with profit. The FCC has approved their technology despite its potential harm to living organisms. It is left to individual towns and cities to protect their own interests.
The answer: Fiber to the Premises (FTTP)
The solution is both simple and easy — instead of more wireless, we need to install wireline Fiber Optic cables to each home and business in San Rafael, which will provide much faster, more secure, more reliable and much more energy-efficient transmission of Internet and video data.
Despite the promises of additional convenience and the unbridled hype for 5G and the "Internet of Things” (IoT), the primary duty of our elected officials is to promote and preserve the health and welfare of San Rafael's residents, voters and taxpayers.
Many people became ill, and are continuing to become ill, from the installation of PG&E’s so-called electrical “Smart Meters.” Recall that people damaged by 24/7 exposures from this wireless Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) forced PG&E to offer an opt-out program.
Unfortunately, the situation we are in today with the imminent 5G antennas is not the same. Big Wireless (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and other telecommunication giants) will not be offering any opt-outs. These so-called "Small Cell" towers would be installed just 15-50 feet from homes and transmit hazardous levels of pulsed, data-modulated, radio frequency microwave radiation 24/7 with no chance for individual home owners or businesses to opt out.
February 2018: Seven residents spoke to the City Council, urging a strengthening of the Telecom ordinance. Each Council member received hardcopies of materials about 5G and related topics, including "Re-inventing Wires," which outlines the superior performance of fiber and wires over wireless.
May 2018: We approached the City Council in open time at a regular meeting, introducing the Council to materials that would further support the City in moving forward.
August 6, 2018: We asked the City Council at a public meeting to let residents know what action the City had taken to date. In response, the city manager and community development director reported that they were studying ordinances and were in discussion with planners.
August 20, 2018: Six residents spoke in the Open Time at the start of the meeting and 25+ more stood in support. Speakers reminded the Council of pressing reasons for adding needed strong, protective amendments to the City’s existing Wireless Telecommunications Ordinance. This action was covered by the Marin Independent Journal on August 22, 2018.
City Council video (first thirteen minutes show speakers and audience members rising):
September 17, 2018: A small group of San Rafael residents, accompanied by a Mill Valley resident knowledgeable about Mill Valley's urgency ordinance, met with San Rafael's Director of Community Development, the Senior Planner, an Associate Planner, and the Assistant City Attorney. The group discussed the City's current ordinance, new Petaluma and Mill Valley ordinances, and recent FCC action. The residents spoke about needed improvements to San Rafael telecom policy and stressed the superiority of wired systems over wireless.
October 17, 2018: The September 17 group reassembled with the addition of resident Alex Stadtner. City staff shared homework completed and their current thinking, which included the wisdom of a stand-alone small cell ordinance that leaves the existing strong ordinance intact. They have renewed consultation with Telecom Law Firm's lead attorney Jonathan Kramer. The group watched an informative Power Point developed by residents Kim Hahn and Bob Berg on the superiority of fast, safe fiber-optic cable over wireless systems.
November 5, 2018: Ten residents of San Rafael and nearby towns spoke during the Nov 5 City Council meeting open time for public comment. They addressed the following negative aspects of 4G and 5G so-called "small cell" cell towers:
Public Comments occur at 1 minute, 11 seconds in the meeting video, followed by the City Manager's brief report on process and timing of ordinance changes. (About 30 minutes)
November 19, 2018: The October 17 group will reconvene to examine specific provisions of a stand-alone "small-cell" ordinance and to further discuss how fiber to the premises (FTTP) solves all of the problems of wireless systems (health/environment, lowered property values, fire safety, security, speed, uncapped data).
December 3, 2018: The City Council will hold a Public Hearing on 4G/5G "Small Cell" expansion at a regular 7:00 p.m. council meeting. Telecom Law Firm's lead attorney, Jonathan Kramer, will make a presentation. Kramer's presentation will likely focus on what San Rafael CANNOT do according to FCC/state law, rather than what the City CAN DO to protect the public.
Kramer's presentation could lean in an industry-friendly direction, rather than demonstrate a commitment to supporting San Rafael by helping the City enact measures/policies that will keep our neighborhoods safe. It is critical that San Rafael residents attend this meeting to voice objection to "small cell" (Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas) near homes, schools, parks. At the same time, residents must urge the council to pursue fiber-optic-cable to the premises. Fiber is far superior to wireless in every respect.
San Rafael has not yet been approached by telecommunications carriers to apply for 4G/5G "Small Cell" (Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antenna) permits for installations on utility or light poles.
The City's existing Section 14.16.360 (wireless communications) of Ordinance 1803 is strongly structured to avoid siting wireless facilities in residential and open spaces, but this section must be updated to directly address 4G-5G "Small Cells." It must be amended with setbacks and power output limitations to protect residential neighborhoods. Here is the current 2004 San Rafael Wireless Ordinance.
Become informed. Click on the links below to learn more about the issue.
Link to KPIX Consumer Watch: 5G Cellphone Towers: Recent Findings Over Impacts on Health
Link to "Microwave Radiation Coming To A Lamppost Near You" - informative overview of 5G
Link to "Re-Inventing Wires: Wireless Systems Are Not As Fast, Secure, Reliable or Energy-Efficient As Wired Systems."
Call and email City Council members. Urge them to amend San Rafael's wireless telecommunications ordinance to protect the public and the environment from harmful Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas, aka "Small Cells."
Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas (“CPMRAs”) do not belong in residential areas!
CPMRAs 15 to 50 feet from our homes ARE NOT the least intrusive means to close an alleged significant gap in coverage (an inability to place a call or text). There is no proven significant gap in coverage in San Rafael.
Better locations exist that can provide coverage at least 1500 feet away from where people live, sleep and heal.
If any Wireless Carrier installs a CPMRA on your street, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and other carriers can come back to claim the real estate at the other utility and light poles in the neighborhood.
The fiber optic uses thousands of times less energy than wireless and will preserve and protect the residential character of our San Rafael neighborhoods. Uncapped broadband internet and video data transmitted by less intrusive fiber optic cables to homes is cyber-secure, fast, safe, and reliable in fires and other emergencies.
CPMRAs will lower property values by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Various real estate publications estimate that a cell tower in a property’s vicinity can reduce the property’s value by 10 to 20%. Lower property values could negatively affect taxes and city finances.
California’s 2015 Assembly Bill 57 established an exemption for placing cell towers on fire stations. Studies showed brain abnormalities in firefighters exposed to cell tower radiation. All citizens should be similarly protected.
The compounded radiation of co-located antennas can pose exponential health hazards. RF microwave radiation from an individual antenna can cause harm; the 24/7/365 exposure from multiple antennas can result in even more substantial health effects.
The average resident is simply not equipped to quantify radiation emissions, assess exposure levels, nor mitigate likely health risks.
Speak in the open time at the start of the meeting. Ask Council members to direct staff to draft solid amendments to the City's telecom ordinance, and to put this matter on a regular agenda so it may be open to council and public discussion.
The Council meets on first and third Mondays at 7:00 P.M. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 1400 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors is also examining how to best safeguard the public in the face of increasingly restrictive federal legislation. Individual board members are meeting with groups of concerned citizens.