by The Golden Gate Neighbors Against Cell Antennas on 960 Arlington Avenue, Oakland CA.   ​

We join together as residents of the Golden Gate community to oppose the planned installation of the cluster of 8 Verizon Cell-Antennae on the roof of 960 Arlington Avenue.

Our concerns are:  (more detail for some reasons at bottom)

 1. The Golden Gate neighborhood is a great place to live.  We are diverse, hard-working, friendly, respectful of one another and we watch out for one another and care for our families, homes and gardens.  A variety of birds make their nests here, including hummingbirds, mockingbirds, and even Red-Tailed Hawks.  The intrusion of a cluster of always-on cell-antennas would disrupt our environment and put our physical and financial health at risk.  Verizon, the absentee owner of the property, and the City will reap the financial rewards while the costs will be off-loaded onto the community.   Cell phone antennas are not compatible with our community.     

2. Destiny Arts is located right around the corner from the proposed cell site.  Destiny Arts provides vital after-school violence-prevention programs for youth and also offers dance classes to the community.   The hundreds of children attending these programs, not to mention the staff and adults,  should not be be put at risk from 24/7 “always on” concentrated emissions of Electro-Magnetic Frequencies. 

3. The Proposed Cell Antenna facility puts hazardous materials, lead acid batteries and natural gas fuels in our neighborhood, and are a potential hazard to the resident’s who live at the building site, not to mention those musicians who rent the space to record music. (more detail below) 

4. Cell tower facility equipment emits diesel exhaust increasing air pollution in our neighborhood. (see more below)

5. The people at the proposed cell site are at risk.  People who are renting recording studio space there, staff who work there, and residents who live there should not be made to be constantly exposed to cell tower microwave radiation and put at risk of adverse effects from cumulative long term radiation exposure.   

6. Cell antennas and their back-up diesel generators can catch on fire putting neighbors, staff, residents and renters of the studio at risk.  All generators are fire and/or explosion risks.

7. This cell antenna facility will increase noise pollution in our community.  A diesel generator can be very noisy.   

8.  Cell tower placement is an environmental justice issue.

9. The community did not have a voice in the decision making process until it was nearly too late.  The Planning Commission had put the plan on the “consent calendar” before our community was notified and before the community had a chance to review the plans.     

10. The process by which our community was notified about the proposed cell-antenna cluster was was flawed.  

11. Communities are not fully informed of what a cell tower will bring to a neighborhood.

12. The stigma caused by cell towers depreciates residential property values adjacent to where the antenna is located.


3.   Cell facilities store hazardous materials on site as specifically noted in the leases.  These hazardous materials can include substantial quantities of lead acid batteries, diesel fuel or natural gas, and more. Federal, State, and local agencies regulate, classify, and require the permitting of hazardous materials as Hazmat Areas.   What if an earthquake damages the natural gas fuel tanks (in our local case) or causes the lead acid batteries to break open?  What if the cell antenna cluster catches fire and a piece breaks off and causes a fire in the equipment compound when it hits the natural gas tanks? These are the risks the community enters into when bringing a cell tower to a neighborhood.

4.  Cell Antenna facilities have diesel fuel of natural gas generators that are regularly  turned on (usually about 45 minutes a week). This  puts fuel exhaust into the air in our neighborhood. Biocides are often added to the fuel to prevent microbial growth and fuel-filter plugging. These emissions from burning fossil fuels contain burnt hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen, which add to air pollution and are  known carcinogens and teratogens. If the generator is not in good condition, it can also emit unburnt hydrocarbons, which are even worse for the environment.

The Verizon Plans for 960 Arlington Avenue call for natural gas generators.  Natural gas is in some ways worse than Diesel:  it doesn't burn as efficiently, and may increase greenhouse gas emissions by 5 to 10 percent.  Also, natural gas is is highly flammable and its vapors at low temperatures can form clouds of flammable vapor concentrations.  The National Fire Protection Association on its hazard rating ranks natural gas as the most flammable, whereas Diesel is ranked moderately flammable.

Also, natural gas presents unique storage hazards.  For example storage vessels must have pressure release valves to prevent pressure buildup that can occur when liquefied natural gas warms and changes to a gas.  Also, in order to prevent leaks and ruptures, great care must be taken in the transport, transfer and storage of compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas.

We don't need these extra hazards in our neighborhood or any neighborhood!  We have elders and families with children making their homes here, and many youth attend daily at Destiny Arts around the corner from the site.  Children are very sensitive to air pollution because they have a faster breathing rate and their respiratory systems are still developing.