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HB 1164, the 5G Tower Placement Bill Heads to Senate Committee on April 1

March 30, 2021

Historic Southwood Park strongly opposes HB 1164, which will be considered in the Indiana Senate Utilities Committee tomorrow, April 1.

HB 1164 blocks local governments, neighborhoods, and homeowners from guiding 5G tower site selection by prohibiting local control over density, height, and location of small cell towers.

Utility companies want a path of least resistance. Communication companies do not want to co-locate with existing utilities where they belong, in easements along alleys and the rear of properties. They want the easiest locations and cheapest for them: in front of houses along the street. And they do not want to co-locate with each other, either. We can expect a Verizon pole every other block. And an AT&T pole. And a Frontier pole. And a pole for each of the other companies entering the 5G market.

Neighborhoods on the National Register of Historic Places are being denied thoughtful Section 106 reviews of tower placements. What does this mean? Cell towers use bandwidth regulated by the federal government. Since this involves federal law, review of tower placement should be discovering that these towers have an adverse effect on historic properties and landscapes. But, preservation advocates are being denied information on upcoming and on already processed Section 106 reviews. State officials are giving these towers are “green light”, as applications falsely claim “co-location” in many instances.

To reiterate: we believe these poles should be co-located with other utilities in utility easements. We believe neighborhoods should be beautiful, not industrial. Every neighborhood, everywhere should have this consideration as a matter of equity. We contend that the arrival of 40 foot (or taller) towers in front of anyone’s house will bring property values down. Our property values should not be infringed for the benefit of Verizon’s balance sheet.

How can you help today? The priority is to put pressure on the State Senators who represent our area and encourage them to oppose HB 1164.
Senator Dennis Kruse (R – District 14) | 317.232.9400Legislative Assistant: Jake | 317.233.0930

Senator Liz Brown (R – District 15) | 317.232.9400Legislative Assistant: Kaitlyn | 317.234.9426

Senator Justin Busch (R – District 16) | 317.232.9400Legislative Assistant: David | 317.232.9488

Senator Andy Zay (R – District 17) | 317.232.9400Legislative Assistant: Kate | 317.234.9441

Leaders from the Packard Area Planning Alliance, the Southwest Area Partnership, and the City of Fort Wayne have contacted state legislators. We ask that you join contacting your legislators as soon as possible and encourage others to do the same. Call. Email. Social media. Whatever you can do helps!

Steve McCord
Historic Southwood Park Neighborhood Association

UPDATE! April 22. From Wildwood Park Facebook: Here is an update on 5G legislation from Jim Sack, president of the West Rudisill neighborhood association and the 5G point person for neighborhoods that belong to Southwest Area Partnership: “The cell tower bill was amended by the Senate after much statewide opposition to various provisions and now gives us, as an association and as individuals, a seat at the table to determine the location of these soon to be ubiquitous “small” cell towers. I argued for these changes during two short appearances before the house and the senate committees that conducted public hearings. The bill is not fair to us, but is much better than the original version. FYI, all local legislators, save one, Phil GiaQuinta, voted against local involvement in citing and density, and for control of our Right-of-Way by Verizon, ATT and a dozen other companies who may all wish to install a tower in front of your home. And, another FYI, the quadrant to which we belong, the Southwest Area Partnership…, will pressure both the city and the cell installers to place the towers with full consideration to the beauty of our neighborhoods.”

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