Wash Park residents say there should be more public input on 5G tower placement

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DENVER (KDVR) -- Some Denver residents are concerned about the installation of new 5G cell towers in their neighborhoods.

The appeal of Greg Waters' Washington Park home had not changed in the 30 years he’s lived there -- until this week.

“It’s not something I want to spend the next 30 years looking at,” Waters said of a Verizon 5G cell tower being installed in front of his home. “Wake up and they’re digging a hole in the side of the yard. And I’ve done a lot of calling around and basically it looks like I don’t have any power.”

Waters says he received a notification from the company a year ago, stating 5G was coming to his neighborhood, but says that notice had the node on an existing utility pole near an alley.

“Mine is going to be a complete eye sore,” Waters said. “I think it needs more community input. They need to be more out front to the community.”

State and federal law requires Denver to allow and approve permits for what are called “small cells” in the public right of way.

A spokesperson for Verizon says they follow every state, federal and local requirement, but will be looking into this case.

The city and county of Denver developed small cell design guidelines, which are applied to all applications in an effort to regulate aesthetics and some aspects of the placement of small cell infrastructure. The guidelines require poles to be located in places that are less intrusive to the public and adjacent property owners and include the following:

  • No closer than 250 feet away, radially, from another privately-owned freestanding small cell pole.
  • To not impede, obstruct, or hinder pedestrian or vehicular travel.
  • Within the street amenity zone whenever possible (between the curb and sidewalk)
  • At the intersection of property lines, or along secondary street-facing property when applicable.
  • Placed in alignment with existing trees, utility poles, and streetlights.
  • Not within the projection of the primary face wall of a single or two-family residence or Historic building to the public right of way.
  • So as to not create an unreasonable visual blight or obstruction to primary property sight lines.
  • Equal distance between trees when possible, with a minimum of 25 feet separation such that no proposed disturbance shall occur within the critical root zone of any tree.
  • 5 feet away from the triangle extension of a driveway entrance, 5 feet from an alley entrance, and 30 feet from a street intersection (to preserve access and line of sight)
  • Not within 100 feet of the driveway of a fire station or other adjacent emergency service facility.
  • With appropriate clearance from existing utilities.

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