Wire Tucson Solutions

The following is a short list of asks for City Councils:


To sufficiently regulate the maximum power output of so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (sWTFs) at much SAFER LEVELS in order to preserve public safety and the quiet enjoyment of streets.


Pass two small ordinances and tighten up sWTF application requirements.

1. Erect cell towers ONLY WHERE NEEDED with The WE-WANT-IT Ordinance: Written Evidence– Wireless Antenna Need Test–In Telecommunications

  • Require every six months: a Comprehensive Wireless Signal Strength Test by an independent RF Engineer, who will do the following:
    • Log, second-by-second, the Wireless signal-strength levels in dBm (decibel-milliWatts) of every carrier-specific licensed and unlicensed wireless frequency/channel/band for which they hold a license that is being transmitted to the streets of our cities.
    • The full data file for each WE-WANT-IT test will be placed in the public record for anyone to view, analyze and verify
  • The RF Engineer will be hired by City and the test cost will be paid by Wireless industry based on Carriers’ pro-rata share of Total Maximum Power Output Capability of all antennas currently operating in our cities.

2. Regulate SAFE Placement with The VHP Ordinance: Cap the maximum allowable effective radiated power from sWTFs and install fuses on each sWTF; if a fuse blows because a safety limit is exceeded, charge a policing fee and gain funds for the City. Regulate the following:

  • Vertical = # feet off the ground
  • Horizontal = # feet away from homes, schools and parks
  • Power = Total Maximum Power Output Capability of all antennas on a sWTF

3. Tighten up sWTF Application Requirements:

  • Require substantial written evidence of dBM signal strength, establishing if there is a telecommunications service NEED for any proposed antenna
  • Require substantial written evidence of NEPA review, because each sWTF requires NEPA review, per the FCC

4. Require Insurance:  Require substantial written evidence of sufficient insurance (without a EMF/RF-EMR pollution exclusion) to cover future claims of injury, illness or death from EMF/RF-EMR exposures (EMF = Electromagnetic Fields; RF-EMR = Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation

5. Moratorium: A lawful solution during national emergencies. 

Why do officials say their hands are tied? State Law prevents the City from passing a moratorium on small wireless facilities. That is true! A.R.S. § 9-593   G. An authority may not:  3. Institute, either expressly or de facto, a moratorium on filing, receiving, or processing applications or issuing permits or other approvals, if any, for the collocation of a small wireless facility.

However, this fails to mention  that federal law supersedes state law. In fact, federal law clearly indicates that in a national emergency (i.e., COVID 19), the City has the power to place a moratorium on new wireless facilities (as in tomorrow if they so choose!). See FCC Order 18-111 and 47 USC & 253.

C. The Plan

  • Required: 60-Minute Zoominar with City staff: representatives from City Manager, City Attorney, Planning Dept. Public Works Dept. and six well-informed members of the public
  • City Council Study Session: 20-minute presentation by City Staff and 20-minute presentation by the public, followed by public comment
  • (Optional) Create a WE-WANT-IT Committee of ten: two City Council members, two City staffers, two Wireless industry reps, two non-Wireless industry RF-EMR experts, two members of the public
  • Required: Finalize language for WE-WANT-IT & VHP Ordinances and the additional application requirements and set for vote as an agendized item