State Bill Withdawn After PPCC Opposition Letter

By DAYNA DRUM | Reporter

The Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) accomplished a major victory last week in an ongoing battle against cell towers in the public right of ways.

A bill that was recently passed in the California State Assembly was withdrawn after PPCC submitted a letter of opposition. The bill, authored by Assemblymember Mike Gatto, sought to remove local government control over the location and aesthetics of almost all cell towers in public right of ways and on government property.

Maryam Zar Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer
Maryam Zar
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

“This is a dangerous bill, in my opinion, that would have had a direct negative impact on the Palisades,” PPCC President Chris Spitz said at a June 23 PPCC meeting.

Spitz clarified the board is not opposed to cell towers and understands the necessity for them, but asserts that residents should be given notice when a utility pole is being erected.

The bill would have exempted cell towers from current ordinances regarding above ground facilities and the requirement to notify surrounding residents.

The PPCC has been entangled in a years-long battle regarding the same issue on a city level. In 2012, Los Angeles City Council voted to remove the exemption for cell towers in the AGF ordinance, but has yet to take action on the decision.

With the state level victory, the PPCC will return to battling with the city of Los Angeles to back the ordinance’s enforcement.

At Thursday’s PPCC meeting, representatives from Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office and Congressman Ted Lieu’s office presented Spitz and PPCC Treasurer Jennifer Malaret with certificates of service and thanked them both for their work in the community.

In honor of her last meeting as president, Spitz gave a few remarks about her time in the position and everything the council had accomplished in her term.

“I believe PPCC is now stronger than ever, and I know Maryam [Zar] will build upon these innovations even more than this,” Spitz said.

The meeting continued to updates from governmental and organizational representatives on various topics.

Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association (SMCCA) board member Debbie Warfel gave a summary on a recent LAX Roundtable meeting regarding airplane noise complaints in the Palisades. LAX hired someone to perform an independent analysis to research the source of the noise. Warfel relayed to the board that the study found no explanation for the increased noise residents are experiencing.

SMCCA has hired an aviation lawyer to negotiate with the Federal Aviation Authority over claims that pilots are taking short cuts, potentially resulting in more noise over Santa Monica Canyon. Warfel said that while residents have been dealing with the increased noise since October 2015, they are more concerned about the FAA’s impending plans for flight patterns.

Warfel encouraged residents to submit their noise complaints to LAX’s Noise Complaint hotline or on LAWA.org.

To wrap up the council’s meeting, the board voted on more small amendments to PPCC Bylaws, mostly concerning capitalization.

The amendments were unanimously passed. The next PPCC meeting will be held on July 28.