Council desires to vote on 5g cell antennas

Montgomery County’s councilors are expected to vote on July 27th to pave the way for 5G small cell antennas to be rolled out across the county and updated with Washington, DC and Northern Virginia bring to.

“5G gives end users higher capacity and speed, and that requires antennas with lower power to serve smaller areas with higher data volumes,” said Livhu Ndou, council lawyer. The antenna receives and transmits wireless signals from wireless devices.

Small cell antennas have been a constant topic of discussion and a topic of committee and council meetings for at least two years.

Council members reviewed a proposed zoning change on July 13 that would allow these antennas to be placed 9 meters from a building and, if possible, on an existing power pole or street lamp. If a new mast is required, it must not be higher than the height of the neighboring masts.

If these conditions could not be met, a conditional use hearing would be required.

Councilor Craig Rice said he supports 5G in part because it will help bridge the digital divide. Councilor Gabe Albornoz is also a supporter. “For my part, I am ready to move forward with it. It took us several years. “He added,” Other jurisdictions are light years ahead of us. “

Many of the council members said they had received many emails on the matter, both for and against. For those concerned with health and safety issues, Councilor Hans Riemer pointed out several federal agencies that have been doing research in the area. “They all say the same thing. The website of the National Cancer Institute makes it very clear that the waves that emanate from our devices are not a health problem. “

Riemer, who has been fighting for the introduction of 5G in the district since 2018, said of the proposed regulation: “It is more restrictive than the DC regulation. It’s more restrictive than the Virginia Ordinance. ”He noted that this was done to ensure it had the support of a majority on the Council.

Several council members were upset that they had received a memo from board member Marc Elrich about an hour before their discussion began. It requested that the antennas be kept 75 feet from the nearest building.

“I don’t think it’s in good faith and it’s just the intent to delay the process,” said Riemer of Elrich’s memo.

However, Debbie Spielberg, Special Assistant in Elrich’s office who was recently hired to smooth Elrich’s relationship with the Council, said, “I do not consider what we have sent today as new. This is just a follow-up. “

Councilor Evan Glass asked the council to set up a task force to investigate the matter further because, “There is a lot of misinformation out there. The confusion is real. “

But he withdrew his proposal when he realized that he did not have the support of a majority of the councilors.

These facilities review all research to protect public health.


– Hans Riemer (@hansriemer) July 14, 2021

Finally, the WHO says, “To date, and after much research has been done, no negative health effects have been causally associated with exposure to wireless technologies.”

– Hans Riemer (@hansriemer) July 14, 2021

Before this council, @MoCoCouncilMD passed a law on small cells in ZTA 18-02, which allows small cell towers in commercial areas. #moco has more 5G coverage than most MD or VA jurisdictions.

– MCCF (@MCCivicFed) July 13, 2021

over Suzanne Pollak

Suzanne is a freelance reporter for Montgomery Community Media. She has over 35 years of professional experience writing for newspapers, magazines, non-profit newsletters, and the Internet.

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