Touched by an 80-foot pole

AT&T is preparing to call in its legal team over the Sonoma City Council’s rejection of the telecom’s planned 80-foot cell tower – not-so-cleverly disguised as a tree – at the Sebastiani Winery. The corporate giant has asked the council to reconsider its 4-1 vote to nix the faux pine structure. (It cleared the Planning Commission with a 7-0 approval.) AT&T doesn’t like being told no, and, like an emissary from Don Corleone, has politely asked the council to “reconsider” its decision. If not, a lawsuit is likely — AT&T has sued numerous cities that have tried to block such towers. The threat is backed by the 18-year-old Telecommunications Act, an industry-friendly law that severely limits a city’s legal ability to disapprove cell towers. If you don’t like it, it seems, call someone who cares – if you can get a signal… San Carlos Mayor Andy Klein called AT&T “bullies” when faced with the same situation; Vice Mayor Mayor Matt Grocott said he felt like there was a “gun to my head” to avoid what the city attorney estimated as a $100,000 court battle… The Sebastiani property was one of seven Eastside sites short-listed by the AT&T. Maybe the council could suggest placing the “tree’ north a bit, on higher ground among a few real trees on city property. At least the $2,000 or so monthly rent could go to the city. To cover future legal bills, perhaps?

Can the best be better? Why not? The Sun’s “Best of Sonoma Valley” readers poll will appear next week, and if you have an idea for a new category to include, send it to: News@sonomasun.com, subject: Best. With 50 or so, from best hamburger to handyman, we’ve got the basics covered – but maybe you’ve got a suggestion for something brand new. Thanks, but sorry, no winners for “best new category suggestion.”

Where will you watch the 49er-Panther game? One fan will be sitting in his car in his Glen Ellen driveway, listening on the radio. That’s where last weekend’s game – the big win over the Packers – ended. Superstition is a strange and, as the unwashed jersey proves, smelly thing.


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    2 Responses to Touched by an 80-foot pole

    1. Regina says:

      AT& T might have to face anti-trust infringement of legal issue by bulling the city council and mandating that a cell tower be installed within the city limits.

      The city attorney should contact a anti-trust attorney to get the scoop.

      Also, the city attorney should contact the EPA in San Francisco to get the environmental liability to humans from the cell tower radiation.

      Regina Baker

    2. Ralph Hutchinson says:

      Darius Anderson is lobbyist for AT&T has any reporter asked him his stance on the matter? These comments of bullying other cities, or other reasonable solutions? This is another cell tower in addition to one in Kenwood that AT&T put in or proposed in Sonoma Valley in the past year.