Joel Winston of the Cohen Law Group answered questions from Newtown Joint Zoning Council (JZC) members regarding updating the draft JZC 5G Small Cell Antenna Ordinance. This discussion was recorded on September 1, 2022.
At the May 25, 2022, Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting there was a lively debate regarding whether or not to send the 5G wireless JMZO amendment back to the JZC with the changes, corrections, additions suggested by the CKS, the Township Planner. There was a disagreement as to whether and WHEN other changes such as those suggested by Mr. Andrew Campanelli, ESQ. (read "An Expert's Critique of the JMZO 5G Wireless Ordinance") should be passed on to the JZC.
A New Ordinance Will Be Drafted
The JZC subsequently hired the Cohen Law Group to provide legal assistance that would include, but not be limited to, the following:
- A review and legal assessment of the draft Ordinance.
- Responses to certain issues raised by residents, including the health effects of radio frequency emissions and due process concerns regarding possible objections to wireless facility applications at the Zoning Hearing Board or other local body.
- A review and responses to comments provided by a New York State wireless expert.
- Depending on other issues that may arise, we are also available to assist with other tasks related to wireless facilities management.
According to Mr. Winston:
- Current ordinance meets 80%+ of the requirements needed to regulate the wireless industry.
- Additional safeguards can be added to require providers share test monitoring data with the township and/or allow the township to do its own testing.
- With respect to wireless facilities in the right of way, while we cannot impose different regulations for 5G versus other utilities, we can require that they follow existing ordinances. Winston confirmed that in subdivisions where the SALDO required all utilities to be underground, we can require 5G to also be underground.
- Requiring more adequate notice to residents when small 5G antennas are being installed nearby would be possible to include in the ordinance
- New learnings - 5G modems are being distributed to residential customers in our service area by wireless providers.
As a result of this discussion, the JZC decided that the Cohen Group should redraft an ordinance from scratch that addresses all the concerns addressed by JZC members at this meeting.
Posted on 02 Sep 2022, 11:39 - Category: Ordinances