Come to Good Neighbor Pizzeria, 800 NE Dekum, at 7:30 pm to learn about and discuss how Woodlawn Neighborhood Association should respond to this facility. Anjala Ehelebe, our Land Use Chair, will give an overview of the situation and chair the meeting. In case you didn’t see the original post or subsequent comments, look here.

2 Responses to “Meet 11/23 about proposed telecommunications facility”
  1. anjala ehelebe says:

    just got this forwarded to me. The point of view of Henry V, who would be underneath the proposed array…

    “Hi Jan

    Steve Gross forwarded me your email below requesting information about the Verizon Communications Antenna project. First I want to apologize for having caused upset among the neighborhood. As you know, Henry V wants to act and be thought of as good neighbors. To answer your question directly, yes Verizon Communication is proposing to co-locate an antenna array on the rooftop of the building here at 6360 NE MLK Jr. Blvd. But it would not be accurate to call it a “tower” because the proposed project is not a tall structure looming over us all. We are a marketing agency and our image to our clients, as well as our neighbors, is very important (if the Barber’s kids have bad hair cuts, you wouldn’t go to that Barber!). The building owner, Tin Roof Enterprises, LLC, (our land lord) did review the plans with us and understands the project can not look ugly. I’ve attached the project proposal drawings created by Verizon for your reference and distribution to anyone with concern. You’ll see on the drawings that the proposed project is 1) centered on the roof 2) enclosed so the ugly dish antenna are not visible 3) and only rises 10’ above the roof top at its tallest point. Note that the proposed structure will go only a few feet higher than the existing roof top heating/air-conditioning units. Also, remember that the elevation drawings are not “perspective” drawings that represent what you would actually see from the ground. With the equipment footprint on the roof being small compared to the overall size of the building and only rising ~10 feet higher than the existing roof, I would venture to say that no one would even realize its there unless it was directly pointed out to them.

    As far as noise goes, Verizon must stay within city code requirements. My current understanding of the project is that there are no cooling units required by the antenna. There may be some ventilation fans on the roof-top equipment cabinets much like on a computer. If this is still a concern, I’d be happy to get more detailed information/confirmation on this. Lastly, the generator to be located on the south end of the building is only a back-up power generator to run during power outages. Again, this will have to meet city code standards and should run almost never! Looking at the glass as half full, having this power unit will enable everyone in the neighborhood to contact loved ones or emergency services via cell phone during a time of emergency/power-outages!

    As far as Radio Frequency (RF) Interference, Verizon will be contractually obligated to make sure that our computers, TVs, wireless radio microphones, recording equipment, etc. will not be affected by the equipment so we believe there will be no impact of this nature on residents either.

    Lastly, I have CC’ed Laura Hopfer on this email so that the Neighborhood Association and residents can contact her directly. Laura is with Ridge Communications who is the contractor Verizon has retained to plan this project. She is available tomorrow, Tuesday 11/22/11 but then is away Wednesday – Sunday for the Thanksgiving holiday. I am also happy to meet with the Neighborhood Association Wednesday or any time over the long weekend (except Thursday) if that would help.

    I’m sure Tin Roof Enterprises would appreciate a Letter of Support from the Neighborhood Association but at this late date that may be totally impractical.

    Feel free to distribute this email if you feel that will help answer any questions and thanks in advance for helping everyone gain a better understanding of the proposed project.

    Sincerely,
    Jim Hansen, Finance Director

  2. Anjala Ehelebe says:

    This is what was sent to to the city.

    Case LU 11-179158 DZR Page

    Woodlawn Neighborhood Assoc.
    c/o NECN
    4815 NE 7th Avenue
    Portland, Oregon 97211

    November 28, 2011

    To: Staci Monroe, Land Use Services, City of Portland
    Doug Daggett, Tin Roof Enterprises, LLC
    Patrick Eckford, Ridge Communications at PO Box 396, Sisters, OR 97759.

    cc: Shoshana Cohen, NECN Staff for Land Use

    RE: Case File LU 11-179158 DZR, Design Review for Telecommunications Facility

    The Woodlawn Neighborhood Association Land Use committee and interested neighbors met Wednesday, November 23, and discussed this proposal. We made the following decision: We have many concerns and urge you not to approve this project.

    The proposal document did not give us enough information to make a solid decision, and we will detail the information we found lacking. Given time constraints (the November 28th deadline) and holiday-caused unavailable staffing, we send you this as it is.

    Community Design Guideline Concerns

    18.02.020 City Policy Statement re noise: It is the intent of the City Council to minimize the exposure of citizens to the potential negative physiological and psychological effects of excessive noise and protect, promote and preserve the public health, safety and welfare.

    We don’t know how noisy the proposed facility will be when the generator is running, or even when it isn’t.

    18.10.010 Land Use Zones re Permissible Sound levels

    We don’t know how loud it would be and whether the sound measurement would be taken, in Residential or Commercial space. The location of measurement makes a difference since residential areas begin within 50 ft of the proposed facility. The allowable noise measurements vary significantly depending on the zoning.

    Chapter 33.420, Design Overlay Zone

    Paragraph M. Sub para 1. We don’t know if the slope of the roof where the proposed facility would be placed is according to code; we have asked the Henry V facilities manager to get back to us on this.

    Paragraph M. Sub para 2. No more than 8 mechanical units are allowed, including both proposed and existing units. We couldn’t find a definition of mechanical unit. If antennae are mechanical units, the proposed 9 antennae are too many and would violate code. We think the mechanical units section needs to be clarified. There are already a few HVAC units on the roof. If there is the proposed enclosure for the 9 antennae plus 7 equipment cabinets plus the generator just how many mechanical units are there?

    Paragraph N. Radio frequency transmission facilities operating at 1,000 watts ERP or less that meet the following. . . We don’t know what the total watts will be if the facility is built. We were told that each individual antenna in the proposed facility could be broadcasting at 759 watts, and if there are 8 more, we feel the total would be above the 1,000 watts ERP.

    It could be that the Type II procedure is the wrong method for land use approval because an array of nine antennae will exceed 1000 watts ERP. Maybe the criteria of 33.815.225 should apply. But then the approval criteria of Article 33.815.225 can only be used to “allow Radio Frequency Transmission Facilities in locations where there are few impacts on nearby properties”.

    This building is zoned Central Employment, but residential zoning starts right across the street, and is covered by the Design d overlay.

    Unanswered Questions

    We don’t know what the ambient RF radiation level is now in this area. We don’t know what this facility would add. It could be within regulations but it could also exceed regulations. There are already two similar broadcast facilities and one cell tower (on MLK Jr. Blvd. and Bryant) within 10 blocks of this proposed site.

    What does the staff of Henry V feel about having the proposed facility broadcasting over their bodies? The building that Henry V is in is often toured and shown off for its green attributes and very high LEEDS ratings. Does this proposed facility detract from that greenness and healthiness for employees, neighbors, and visitors?

    Why does this neighborhood have a disproportionate amount of cell towers compared to other NE neighborhoods? Is it because of the Priority 1 zones at the north of our neighborhood? If yes, and we are already being served by all these towers, is this facility really necessary?

    Public benefits don’t outweigh impacts. BDS must review public benefits of this proposal (better coverage for Verizon customers) and weigh them against impacts (density of RF transmission facilities in the area).

    Has Verizon received complaints from customers about lack of service? One person attending the meeting has Verizon as her carrier and has adequate service, she sees no need for additional antennae.

    Has Verizon considered adding the proposed facility to an existing tower?

    Have other technologies been considered? Running wireless broadcast underground can be done and we are told has been done near Portland.

    For all these reasons, the Woodlawn Neighborhood Association urges the City to not grant this development. Thank you.

    Anjala Ehelebe, Chair
    Woodlawn Neighborhood Association Land Use Committee

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