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Judge Delays Antenna for Cellular Phone Firm

March 05, 1987

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has issued an order that temporarily prohibits a cellular phone company from erecting a 75-foot antenna in La Canada Flintridge.

The foothills community's City Council had approved construction of the antenna near a residential area last week.

Judge Eli I. Chernow ruled last Thursday that Los Angeles Cellular Telephone Co. could not begin work on the antenna, known as a monopole, until at least March 20. Chernow scheduled a hearing in Superior Court for that date.

Homeowners File Suit

A group of homeowners who live near the proposed site at Crescenta-Canada YMCA on Foothill Boulevard filed suit to halt the construction after the council decision last week.

Attorney Anita S. Brenner, who lives near the YMCA and is representing the homeowners, said that the city erred in not requiring a full environmental impact report and that it made procedural errors in granting approval.

Brenner asked that the city find an alternate site for the monopole and set a height limit of no more than 75 feet. The company had originally sought a 150-foot tower.

Brenner has also asked that the city conduct new hearings.

The council had considered two other sites--one at Foothill Boulevard and Angeles Crest Highway and another at the now-closed Foothill Intermediate School. City officials said they settled on the YMCA location because they felt the monopole would be partially obscured there by tall trees.

'Not in My Backyard'

"Everybody's got the 'not in my backyard' feeling, but it's the city's point that that is the best site," said William Campbell, the city's director of community development.

The firm had received approval from the state Public Utilities Commission to build a cellular phone tower in La Canada Flintridge. City officials have said that they have no authority to override that but can mitigate the tower's effect by selecting an unobtrusive location and requiring landscaping and a fence to keep out trespassers.

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