Town Gets Verizon to Move 5G Towers Away from Beach; Passes Ordinance to Better Regulate Wireless Infrastructure

By B.N. Frank

In 2020, Activist Post reported about opposition and legal action taken against 5G towers at Dewey Beach, DE.  Earlier this month, Verizon agreed to move its towers.  From Gov Tech:

Delaware Town Gets Verizon to Move 5G Poles Away from Beach

After a year of facing legal opposition from determined residents of Dewey Beach, Del., Verizon has agreed to a settlement. The company has stated it will move five 5G poles off a beachfront.

December 08, 2021

Emily Lytle, Dover Post

(TNS) — It’s the classic: Will they or won’t they? Move the 5G poles in Dewey Beach, that is.

For the past year, Dewey Beach residents have fought with Verizon over the placement of utility poles along the beachfront. Their concerns were heard: In a settlement reached with the wireless company, Verizon has promised to move some of those poles.

In June, Dewey Beach residents Alex Pires, Diane Cooley and John Snow filed a lawsuit against Verizon, requesting that the court prohibit the wireless company from installing any additional 5G poles on or near the ocean-side sand dunes in an effort to protect what they say became obstructed views of the beach and ocean.

The lawsuit focused on five wireless communication poles that Verizon installed in the sand dunes or at beach entrances in Dewey Beach.

Pires, who also owns several businesses in the Dewey Beach area, and his fellow plaintiffs reached an agreement with Verizon in late November. In the settlement, Verizon promised to move the five utility poles as long as the company receives reimbursement for the cost of moving them.

This money is expected to come from the state as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 Bond and Capital Improvements Act.

Back in September, Dewey Beach approved an agreement that the state would provide $375,000 toward the town’s effort to relocate 5G poles. This came after Sen. Ernie Lopez, R-Lewes, and House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, got involved in the negotiations with Verizon.

The settlement also suggests specific sites for relocating each pole. Two of the proposals include relocating the wireless equipment onto existing poles owned by Delmarva Power. Verizon has already received permission from that local utility company, according to the settlement.

The other three proposals would move the poles so that they line up with other poles in the area and no longer sit immediately adjacent to beach entrances.

Once Verizon receives approval from the town and Delmarva Power, the wireless company will have 90 days to move the poles, according to the settlement.

If Verizon cannot move the poles to these suggested locations — because it could not get approval from the town or Delmarva Power, for example — then the company must “use good faith efforts” to gain approval for alternative locations that are “mutually acceptable” and provide Verizon the same wireless network capacity and coverage as the original locations.

A Verizon representative said in a statement that the company is proud to offer 5G to Dewey residents and tourists who visit the beach town.

“We are pleased with the settlement and will continue to work with state legislators and Dewey on our future network deployment,” the statement read.

While this settlement is a major win for those fighting for the relocation of 5G poles, more pieces continue to fall into place to ensure that future wireless infrastructure does not block the town’s beloved beach views.

As a legislative solution, the town of Dewey Beach has been working to pass a new ordinance and design standards that can help the town better regulate wireless infrastructure.

Just last week, the town passed the most recent update of this ordinance, which primarily sets a process for obtaining permits for wireless facilities. When commissioners voted to unanimously approve this ordinance on Dec. 2, they updated it to include a daily penalty fee of $500 for anyone who violates the ordinance.

The ordinance also sets basic height requirements for poles and prohibits wireless companies from installing any structures on residential properties, beach dunes and sidewalks — unless they can be placed on a sidewalk and still comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Going beyond those initial aesthetic guidelines, the commissioners approved a more detailed set of design standards at that meeting, as well.

While this sets Dewey Beach on more solid ground when defending its views from unsightly wireless communication poles, and the settled lawsuit provides hope for the relocation of five poles, the battle does not seem over quite yet.

For one, the town still has seven poles that are not affected by the settlement.

Additionally, Dewey Beach has yet to come to a final agreement with the Delaware Department of Transportation over who controls the town’s public rights of way when it comes to regulating wireless infrastructure.

But if the town and its residents have shown anything over the past year, and earlier, it’s that they’re not afraid to take a stand for Dewey Beach and its landscape.

©2021 Dover Post, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

American opposition to 5G and lawsuits filed against deployment has been ongoing for years due to a variety of significant risks associated with the technology including

In fact, last month AT&T and Verizon agreed to delay U.S. deployment until January as well as limit it for six months due to considerable aviation safety risks from 5G frequencies in the C band.  Nevertheless, Verizon has announced its plans to unleash more 5G in the C band early next year.

In regard to service, studies have already determined that 4G is still better, more reliable, and safer than 5G (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).  At least one survey has also determined that consumers prefer internet reliability over speed.

Opposition to 5G is worldwide and the majority of scientists oppose deployment.  Since 2017 doctors and scientists have been asking for moratoriums on Earth and in space (see 1, 2).  Since 2018 there have been reports of people and animals experiencing symptoms and illnesses after it was installed (see 1. 2, 3, 4).  Of course there are also health and environmental risks associated with 4G infrastructure too.  In August 2021, a federal court ruled in favor of petitioners who sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for not protecting Americans from harmful wireless radiation exposure which includes 5G.  More recently, petitioners submitted a new filing asking again that the FCC review scientific evidence and establish protective radiation exposure limits.  Unfortunately the Biden administration isn’t just turning a blind eye to all of the above, the Infrastructure Bill supports additional funding for more 5G deployment including via satellites and similar vehicles.

Activist Post reports regularly about the 5G and other unsafe technology.  For more information visit our archives and the following websites:

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