Apr 2, 2021 Tucsonans’ WTF Ordinance

Placing, constructing and OPERATING so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (sWTFs) at excessive Effective Radiated Power output — in the Public Rights-of-Way — is unjust and unconstitutional. Doing so is a TAKING of personal property values, without just compensation, and the resulting 24/7 surveillance VIOLATES Tucson’s residents’ rights to privacy.

We, the dedicated and informed residents and business owners of Tucson, submit this Wireless Telecommunications Facilities Ordinance with the purpose to promote and protect safety, privacy, life, and property, as well as a “sustainable community that embraces prosperity, equity, and a healthy environment” for the Tucson community (Plan for Tucson, 2013). Accordingly, the purpose of this ordinance is to:

  1. Provide benefits to the City, its residents and general public from access to personal wireless services while minimizing their detriments;

  2. Ensure minimum power necessary to provide personal wireless communications, thereby protecting public safety, privacy, and property values;

  3. Permit placement, construction, modification, and operation of personal wireless facilities and other wireless infrastructure only where needed, thereby reducing adverse economic impacts and impacts on, safety, privacy, and/or aesthetics of nearby properties and the community as a whole;

  4. Comply with applicable law, including the 1996 Telecom Act and Arizona HB2365

Ordinance Highlights:

We presented to the City of Tucson on March 15th the Tucsonans’ WTF Ordinance. All the tools and language we need to succeed is in the ordinance, we think you will find it to be very eye opening and clear a lot of smoke that’s been blown our way.

It’s such a rich document, but in case you’re too busy, here’s what you really want to know:

  1.  Collocation! -May be required by local authorities  by 1996 Telecom act and state law.
  2. Public Safety!! We NEVER say “health” or “health effects” We also want to make it a point that these are UNINSURED! This can very well bankrupt the city by allowing telecoms to transfer liability to OURSELVES (taxpayers)
  3. Quiet Enjoyment of Streets -not only does the network densification clash with the aesthetics of our streets but it creates noise as well as discomfort. Residents have the unequivocal right to the preservation of landscape and quiet enjoyment of the streets.
  4.  Minimize Power Output -direct quote from 1996 telecom act: “In all circumstances, except in case of radio communications or signals relating to vessels in distress, all radio stations, including those owned and operated by the United States, shall use the minimum amount of power necessary to carry out the communication desired.” Communication desired is ONLY wireless voice and texting, power needed for this is millions of times lower than current output, it is the legal obligation of administration to enforce this. (0.002 µW/m² is -85dBm! It’s a political term that means the same thing, view this page for more detail: https://ourtownourchoice.org/wewantit/ )
  5. Retrofit (~500 existing sWTFs) -given that these antennae are too large/intrusive and powerful, as well as most are “too large to collocate” on existing structure, smaller equipment is required and co-location is required/enforced (not merely encouraged), using the latter mentioned minimized power of -85dBm
  6. Sharing Box – Public Benefit FTTP -asking that wireless companies extend the fiber they use for their antenna to the premise of homes. We believe it is askable as a condition for use of public rights of way, FTTP means Fiber To The Premises.
  7. Revenue from Policing Fees  -the City may lawfully demand the telecoms to minimize power as stated in law they will immediately collect revenue from antennas which are not in compliance when a fuse is attached. 
  8. Privacy – No Nude Tucsonans -certain frequencies of millimeter waves can generate nude images of persons in real time, even inside our homes! These have no place in our streets as they violate our privacy both in public and in our “castles”.
  9. Property Values– data shows that property values decrease by up to 20% when antennae projects are located nearby, and 95% of buyers would be less interested and pay less for homes near antenna sites.
  10. Protect trees / NEPA Review -the City has planned the Million Trees effort, as well as having invested a great deal in existing trees, but has not accounted for the damage trees will suffer significant damage from nearby antennas, nor the fact that many will have to be cut down to accommodate the network. All these antennas are lacking NEPA review. That means they are incomplete at the application stage because NEPA is required for any WTFs exceeding 1000 units ERP. NEPA review summary coming soon. 
  11. WART Report Card– Wireless Antenna Retrofit Test is regular testing from an independant RF engineer to enforce compliance with minimum power standards. Failures result in hefty fines and results in a three strikes and the-carrier-will-need-to-retrtofit-its-antennas policy.