Controversial telecom permit OK’d by council

Residents spoke passionately regarding Public Hearing Item 1, which saw a, “Continuation of public hearing from February 26, 2024 regarding appeal of administrative approval of wireless telecommunications facilities encroachment permit to Crown Castle for 6292 Buckingham Parkway, Culver City.”

A representative from Crown Castle said that there’s a need for a service increase in this area. However, members of the public had concerns about both the safety of the towers, and the fact that they’ll be an eyesore.

Appellant E. Scott stated that she’s not anti-cell. “It’s not that,” she said. “Just not by my bedroom window, and not where people gather.”

Council Member Goran Eriksson said that, as the permit meets FCC guidelines, they can’t deny it and approve the appeal for safety reasons. Council Member Albert Vera pointed out that there is no concrete finding that they can use to deny the application. He admitted that he was conflicted however, as he sympathizes with the residents. 

The appeal was denied, and Crown Castle’s application was approved, with additional pre-and-post testing required as a condition. The motion passed 4-0, with one “abstain” vote from Vera.

Action Item 1 called for, “consideration of a freestanding monument signage program in town plaza; discussion of proposed donation and installation of signs by HC 9300 culver LLC; and direction to the city manager as deemed appropriate.”

That motion passed unanimously.

Action Item 2 called for, “Approval and submission of joint application in partnership with community corporation of Santa Monica under the affordable housing and sustainable communities notice of funding availability in an amount up to $35million for capital and programming funds and up to $14 million for city bicycle, pedestrian and transit infrastructure for the 95-unit 100% affordable housing project to be developed at 4464 Sepulveda Boulevard, Culver City.”

In the wake of the Move Culver City project’s redesign, the public was split on the subject of adding more dedicated bicycle lanes. 

An impassioned Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin begged her colleagues to pass the item saying, “there’s room for all of all” as she pushed the importance of affordable housing and safe streets.

McMorrin’s eventual motion was to approve the grant application, but then to do further investigation. The item passed 3-0 with two “abstain” votes from Vera and Eriksson.

Finally, Action Item 3 called for changes to the municipal code regarding violent and/or toxic behavior on public land or in public buildings. This included trying to start a fight, or force people to use a bathroom for a gender they don’t identify with.

That item passed unanimously.