Cellular tower proposed in Glen Ellen near Hwy. 12
By Chris Rooney
Cell phone reception may soon be stronger along Sonoma Highway and Arnold Drive, as a new tower is proposed for Dunbar Road in Glen Ellen.
The project was initiated by provider TMobile, which hired Vertical Bridge to erect an 80-foot faux tree that would camouflage a cell facility.
“The project’s Radio Frequency Engineers are primarily aiming to cover Arnold Drive, as this is the road that is used to enter into Highway 12, which leads to the downtown and residential areas of Glen Ellen,” the application states. “We considered properties to the east … but there was less surrounding tree coverage, so the site would have been more visible from Highway 12. Additionally, most of the area is used for agriculture, so that limited the available ground space to locate a tower.”
A 50-foot by 50-foot section of land, to be fenced off, would be leased from property owner Jaime Tellier. The tower includes 12 eight-foot antennas, typically branches of the tower.
Melissa Keith, who filed the application with Permit Sonoma on behalf of Vertical Bridge, declined interview requests, but Sonoma County Policy Manager Bradley Dunn explained that the application process would have to meet federal standards because the project involves Federal Communications Commission (FCC) telecom equipment.
“A robust wireless network will contribute to the county’s ability to respond to natural or man-made disasters and other public safety concerns in a potentially life-saving manner,” the application reads. “The site is of adequate size, shape, topography, location, and access to utilities to accommodate the proposed wireless facility. The site is generally flat, and has access to power and telephone connections that can be used for the project. The facility is unmanned and will not contribute to any traffic.”
Considering aesthetics, the application states, “The facility is designed to blend as much as possible with the surrounding environment that already exists within the vicinity.”
“We’ll move forward in a way that makes sense,” Dunn said.
The deadline for initial public feedback lapsed on Sept. 26, but those with questions or concerns may contact Sonoma County planner Adam Sharron at [email protected] or (707) 565-7389.