September 5, 2010

Los Altos NIMBYs Protest Cell Phone Towers

Los Altos area residents won’t drop call to arms over cell tower

By Diana Samuels, Daily News Staff Writer

Posted: 09/03/2010 10:13:58 PM PDT
Updated: 09/04/2010 07:37:40 AM PDT

A group of Los Altos area residents who lost their bid this week to keep a 55-foot-tall cell phone tower out of their neighborhood said they plan to take their fight to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.

The county’s planning commission voted 4-2 Thursday to reject an appeal from residents of the San Antonio Hills neighborhood in an unincorporated part of the county. The residents say neighbors Marshall and Nadja Jackson are operating a commercial “cell tower farm” on their Whitham Avenue property, in violation of county zoning regulation.

The Jacksons already have three cell towers on their property and won approval from the planning commission in June to build a fourth for Verizon Wireless. Marshall Jackson declined to comment Friday, but said earlier this week he believes the 55-foot-tall “monopine” — a tower disguised as a pine tree — will make the community safer thanks to the better coverage it will provide.

Tower opponent Chris Hyrne [in photo at right] said he and other residents plan to appeal the commission’s decision to the board of supervisors.

This site has long discussed one of the true pleasures of homeownership: the joy of watering one’s own lawn.  How come nobody ever brought up the delight of collecting fees for hosting a “cell tower farm” on your own property?  You don’t even have to water the monopine!  Just sit back, relax, and watch those checks start rolling in.  Sure, you’ll earn the enmity of your neighbors and your kids won’t be able to show their faces at recess, but so what?  If you’re tough enough to have become a Real Bay Area homeowner, you (and your kids) can handle a little ostracism.

We are not talking about beer money.  The Jacksons are currently hosting towers for AT&T, Sprint, Metro PCS, and T-Mobile. They earn between $500 and $3500 a month per tower for having them on their property.  The new Verizon tower would be 15 feet taller than the existing structures, and by law that means the other carriers can raise their towers to the same height as the new one.

Meanwhile, the neighbors against the towers have their petition against the “antenna farm” online, complete with address of the “butt-ugly” towers.  They have a website as well.  But we’ll save you the trouble of driving over to Whitham Avenue, as the website has this lovely view of the towers:


Can’t imagine why the neighbors are complaining.  They must get cell reception like no tomorrow.  Heck, Marshall Jackson, who just happens to be a Realtor, said the house across the street from him sold in two days, over asking price, because of the awesome bar count.  “I’m concerned for the greater good,” Jackson said. “I certainly want to make profits myself; I’m a capitalist and I’m profit-motivated. … but I also don’t do things I think will hurt people.”

Here is the house in question, sold for $1,000 over asking.  (Something very funny is going on with that house, take a look at the sale records.)

Now that the cellular antenna farm idea has been featured on burbed (an award-winning site, you know!), everyone will want to be the first on their block to plant an antenna farm!  So hurry!  Unless you’re a renter, in which case you can spend Labor Day Weekend watering your landlord’s lawn.

Comments (20) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

20 Responses to “Los Altos NIMBYs Protest Cell Phone Towers”

  1. maryjane Says:

    Hell, for $500-$3500/mo. I’d plant a few myself. Besides it could be worse:

  2. SEA Says:

    Those complaining probably enjoy making complaint calls on their cell phones.

  3. Petsmart groomer Says:

    I’m actually looking forward to seeing more of these. Adobe installed 20 of them in San Jose.

  4. Petsmart groomer Says:

    Looking at the map, the neighbors seem to be overreacting. Very few people would even pass by 1721 Miller Ave.

  5. nomadic Says:

    madhaus, can we have some headlines like the one in the article posted in #3? Love it – “Neighbors Go Batshit Crazy Over Proposed Windmill in Miraloma Park Neighborhood.”

  6. nomadic Says:

    Sorry – meant article in #1.

    #4, yeah, hardly anyone would drive by there. They probably aren’t even visible over the 280 sound wall they’re next to.

  7. maryjane Says:

    Sometimes Curbed has better headlines and it’s hard to beat for over the top trophy houses but Burbed is a proven award winner!

  8. AnotherGenericAlex Says:

    Out here in Gilroy they’re disguised as large pine trees. Sure, if you look directly at them, you can tell they’re fake, the flat angles of the metal trunks are a giveaway. But they’re not obviously visually jarring.

    Los Altos doesn’t have our class.

  9. nomadic Says:

    There’s a monopine (cell tower dressed up like a pine) in Sunnyvale, near the 280/85 interchange too.

    One was built a few miles my parents in Michigan. It was pretty funny because it’s as tall as a Redwood, but it’s in Michigan.

  10. AnotherGenericAlex Says:

    In SoCal they tend to disguise them as palm trees.

  11. Petsmart groomer Says:

    Patty Fisher’s column: “Cell phone towers: Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em

  12. bob Says:

    Ahh yes… sounds more like the typical Alameda NIMBY story where everything and anything new is shot down by “concerned” residents… usually old farts with nothing better to do. I wonder if there’s ever been a study that shows people with more money tend to be more prone to NIMBYism?

  13. DreamT Says:

    don’t you have something better to do, bob?

  14. madhaus Says:

    #12, people with less money don’t have a back yard to keep things out of. Plus they’re angry they don’t get to water what they don’t got.

  15. bob Says:

    don’t you have something better to do, bob? Don’t you have a job to do? Like find a picture of a crabby looking cat for your avatar?

  16. DreamT Says:

    why bob, but I am not even an “old fart” who lives in Alameda!
    Enjoy your commute from your cube to NIMBYland.

  17. madhaus Says:

    I don’t think #16’s cat looks in the least bit crabby.

    Now THIS is a crabby cat. Maybe #16’s cat is what passes for crabby in Alameda.

  18. DreamT Says:

    crabby? Last I looked, my pussy cat didn’t have crabs. And I find bob’s taste in hairy things to be questionable, to say the least.

  19. Alex Says:

    Pussies shouldn’t have crabs. That’s disgusting.

  20. anon Says:

    Guys, can we get back to palo alto real estate?

Leave a Reply

Please be nice. No name calling, no personal attacks, no racist stuff, no baiting, etc. Let's be nice to each other in the true Bay Area spirit! (Comments may be edited/removed without notice.)