Parents of children attending the Larchmont Charter School and nearby residents are expected to turn out for a West Hollywood Planning Commission meeting Thursday to voice their opposition to a plan by Verizon Wireless to install a cell phone tower inside the bell tower of St. Ambrose Church.
Opponents of the plan have created an online petition that, as of this afternoon, already has 744 signatures. St. Ambrose Church is at 1271 N. Fairfax Ave. near Fountain, Larchmont Charter School’s West Hollywood campus is nearby at 1265 N. Fairfax.
The petition offers several objections to the tower. One is that it will “destroy the aesthetic integrity” of the St. Ambrose Church property, which was designed in 1924 by Ross Montgomery. The cell tower will be inside the church tower, however the petition says that it will interfere with the view of the sky through the tower.
The petition says the tower will harm nearby businesses such as Whole Foods and Just Food for Dogs whose health-conscious customers will avoid shopping near a cell tower. Opposition to cell towers traditionally is based on fears that radio from a tower’s transmission can cause health problems such as cancer, brain disease and heart disease. Those fears have been refuted by scientists. A review of studies on the matter by the World Health Organization has concluded that there is no serious impact on health from such signals. The petition also alleges that cell towers are prone to collapse and that approval of the Verizon Wireless request will encourage other wireless carriers to attempt to build cell towers in West Hollywood.
The Planning Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica.