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New City Council Member

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December 3, 2020

Dear Council Member,

Congratulations on your election as the newest Elk Grove City Council Member!

My name is _________________________________ [your name] and I live in Elk Grove.

My son / daughter attends (name of the school that your child attends). [Omit if you do not have a child in the Elk Grove public schools.]

As you know last year the City approved a new 4G and 5G cell antenna policy consisting of changes in the Municipal Code and Master License Agreements with both AT&T and Verizon. Prior to that, according to the staff report approximately 200 Elk Grove residents had written to the City urging it not to amend the Municipal Code per AT&T’s request. (August 28, 2019 staff report, page 4) AT&T wanted to amend the Code to quickly get cell antenna permits with no City Council action and little if any resident knowledge or input. The main objection residents raised was that long term exposure to cell antenna electromagnetic radiation is hazardous to human health. Thousands of studies have shown it causes health effects.

The City did a good job at keeping cell antennas away from Elk Grove homes by adopting the “front yard rule”, that the City will not permit a new cell antenna immediately adjacent to or across the street from the front yard of a residential dwelling. (EGMC Title 23, Chapter 94.050) I am grateful for that.

During the time the City was preparing and negotiating the Code amendments and the MLAs it did not reach out to its biggest constituent, the Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) to ask its opinion on the placement of new cell antennas near schools.

The MLAs both say that the City Manager can add more new cell antennas to the City’s approved list. (Section 4.2a) That’s why the issue is not settled. Both AT&T and Verizon will want more cell antennas than those in their respective MLAs.

Teachers fight a daily battle for the minds and attention of students. It is a battle against cell phones. Every student has one. The phones and the many available apps, games, etc., can completely take over a student’s mind and attention for hours every day. This is what the telecom companies and cell phone companies want. But it is detrimental to the educational process. A new cell antenna near a school will cause students to use their phones more while at school, taking their minds and attention away from their teachers and classes. The City should prevent this, or at least avoid making this problem worse. It has the full discretionary power to do so by not approving new cell antennas near schools, say within 1,500’ of a school.

The City should take into account the consequences of its actions on EGUSD students and their education. In the interests of education there should not be any more cell towers and antennas near schools than there already are. The City should not approve any more new cell antennas near schools (within 1,500’) and should amend the Municipal Code to make that a new policy.

Will you commit to working for this on the City Council?

Please respond to this message.

Thank you.


[Your name and address (or street, or just “Elk Grove resident”)]

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