The Verizon 5G Antennas Listening to in Lavallette shall be held from afar on Wednesday – Lavallette-Seaside Shorebeat
5G network nodes on a street lamp post. (Image credit: Circa)
Verizon Wireless will be advocating installing five so-called “small cell” nodes in Lavallette when its agents appear on the planning board later this week. The meeting, which is expected to attract widespread attention, will be held remotely via Zoom due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
Wireless nodes that enable ultra-fast data transfers – speeds high enough to support streaming and call cable connections into question – are growing worldwide, but have sparked sporadic protests from some communities. A group of Lavallette residents have been opposed to installing next-generation technology for about two years since it was first proposed. Since then, the county has enacted regulations for 5G nodes – essentially small versions of traditional cellular transceivers that work closer to the ground using millimeter wave technology – but has also learned that, under federal regulations designed to ensure the advance of wireless communications, local governments have have limited oversight of technology.
The planning board will meet on Wednesday, January 6th at 7pm to consider the installation of five small cell nodes in the district. It is suggested that the nodes be in the following locations:
- Near Grand Central Avenue 2000 (Pole # BT444)
- Near 3 Liggett Road (Pole # 403488)
- Near 103 Brown Avenue (Pole # BT45LAA)
- Near 120 Washington Avenue
- Near Grand Central Ave 1704 (Pole # BT4166)
The proposed locations of the nodes are locations where power poles are already in place, said district administrator Robert Brice. These poles will be replaced. If the application is heard by the planning authority, public comments and the hearing of witnesses are allowed at set times. However, the hearing takes place in a court-like setting, and the members of the Board of Directors have the task of reconciling public contributions and statements with those of the federal government. state and local regulations. Deviations from these regulations can lead to legal disputes.
“Verizon will also be away with its representatives so they will be available for comments and questions,” Brice said. “The aim of the meeting is to get the members of the planning committee to examine the application in the context of our conformity with our regulation.”
Lavallette’s Ordinance on Small Cell Nodes prohibits new structures five feet between the paved road and the nearest property line, with the exception of curbs and sidewalks, gravel, and similar landscaping. Cellular carriers need to get permission to place devices on power poles, street lights, or other existing items in the way and make an arrangement with the community. In addition, new poles must be no more than 18 inches from the curb and no higher than 35 feet (or 110 percent higher than neighboring power poles). Agreements must last at least 15 years and be approved by a vote by the district council. There are also a number of size requirements for both the antennas and the network switch boxes to which they are to be connected.
Cellular operators would have to pay a license fee of $ 500 for one to five antennas and $ 100 for each additional antenna.
A copy of the entire regulation is embedded under this story.
District officials admitted that public interest in the matter is high and that a personal hearing is preferred by many residents. The district attorney advised against a public hearing, however, as doing so would violate Governor Phil Murphy’s order for indoor gatherings. Monday evening’s council meeting used a new audio system via Zoom, which significantly improved audio quality and volume, as well as the system that the public could participate in using a raise hand feature.
“Given the current situation we are in and what we have in terms of facilities and public safety, we will continue the virtual meeting,” said Brice. “It was weighed and found that now that we have this role, we can get as much input from the public as if we had a live meeting.”
In preparation for the meeting, Verizon Wireless put together an informational website specifically for Lavallette, while the district published an article by the State League of Municipalities covering the scope of the city government’s ability to regulate 5G antennas.
A link to attend and attend the Zoom meeting will be posted on the district’s home page prior to the start of the meeting. The full agenda for the meeting has already been published.