SMALL CELL TOWER ALERT – URGE STATE REPS NOT TO GUT TAKOMA PARK PROTECTIONS!

SMALL CELL TOWER ALERT - URGE STATE REPS NOT TO GUT TAKOMA PARK PROTECTIONS!

State of Maryland Bill HB 654 Would Severely Restrict Local Control of Cell Towers --

Other Pending State Bills HB 1020 & HB 474 Also Undermine Local Control

Please Call and Send Emails to Key State Legislators to Oppose These Bills.

And speak out at Public Hearing in Annapolis Thursday, Feb. 21st -- Must sign up in person before Noon. (Contact info and hearing details below)

Save our new Takoma Park City Ordinance and Montgomery County rules that place at least modest limits on the siting of small cell towers! Our local laws will be pre-empted by the State of Maryland, if a new bill, HB 654, is passed by the Maryland General Assembly. This proposal is reportedly the darling of the wireless industry. Why? Because it would wipe out many of our City and County protections and replace them with much weaker statewide rules!

For example: It would eliminate our County requirements for small cell towers to be certain distances from our homes. And goodbye to tree protections, annual tests to monitor radiation levels emitted from cell antennas, adequate public notice and public input, and most of the other public-interest provisions in our new City ordinance.

This truly horrible bill seems to have opened the gates to other state cell-tower bills, like HB 1020 (SB 713) and HB 474. Whether intended or not, those are also likely to undermine local authority over the siting of small cell towers -- just as our City, County, and many other localities are fighting the Federal Communications Commission in court to recognize our authority. Local communities have a right to make our own zoning and land-use decisions, and regulate the use of our public Rights of Way. If the State imposes some new authority over us now, it will reinforce the industry’s position that we locals are yokels – with no right to interfere in their roll-out of a dense network of new cell towers wherever and however they like in our urban neighborhoods. Despite the growing body of scientific evidence that emissions of radio frequency radiation pose real health and environmental risks!

Let’s stand up for local democracy and the safety of our community!

Please call & email:

Delegate Dereck Davis (D-PG County), Chair of the powerful House Economic Matters Committee in the Maryland House of Delegates & Sponsor of HB 654:

Phone: 410-841-3519.  Email: dereck.davis@house.state.md.us

And the Montgomery County Delegates on the Committee:

* Lorig Charkoudian, Takoma Park resident and our own new District 20 Rep:

Phone: 410.841.3423. Email: lorig.charkoudian@house.state.md.us

* Kathleen Dumais, also Majority Leader of the House:

Phone: 410-841-3052. Email: kathleen.dumais@house.state.md.us

* Lily Qi: Phone : 410-841-3090. Email : lily.qi@house.state.md.us

* Pamela Queen: Phone: 410.841.3380. Email: pam.queen@house.state.md.us

Please Urge Them: “Do Not Pass HR 654 -- or HB 1020 (called SB 713 in the Maryland Senate), HB 474, or ANY bill that pre-empts the authority of local governments to regulate small cell towers. Protect Our Families -- Preserve Local Zoning Over Cell Towers!” Let them know our communities deserve and demand to set our own rules on where, when, and if new cell towers are built.

And please come speak out at the public hearing on the three bills – including the truly awful HB 654 – in the House Economic Matters Committee next week, Thursday, Feb. 21, at 1 pm in Annapolis: You must sign up in person before Noon on that day to make a 3-minute comment! To present written testimony, bring 35 copies of your statement with you and deliver them – also before Noon – to the Economic Matters Committee office in Room 231 in the House Office Building located at 6 Bladen Street. The hearing is in Room 230. Questions? Contact the Economic Matters Committee.

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A note about Community Vision for Takoma: Originally formed around a vision for inclusive, vibrant, community-centered development at the Takoma Junction, we are expanding to bring our inclusive,  participatory, community-centered vision to other local issues that affect residents’ health, safety, and quality of life.


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