City of Long Beach and AT&T Hand Moira & Mark Final Victory in Their Long-Running Fight to Prevent a Potential 5G Cell Tower from Being Installed in Front of Their Home
Moira Hahn and Mark Hotchkiss have finally achieved their long-sought victory: Confirmation has been received from both AT&T and the City of Long Beach that the cell tower construction permit for a right-of-way 25 feet from their home, at the edge of their property line, will not be issued.
Moira and Mark’s struggle has received extensive coverage in local TV and print media.
Last October, Moira and Mark’s appeal under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) came before the Long Beach City Council, resulting in a 3-3 tie vote. The deputy City Attorney on hand at the moment referred to this as a victory for AT&T; however, that interpretation of a city council tie vote under CEQA was strongly disputed by Moira and Mark’s attorney Doug Carstens of Carstens, Black & Minteer.
That matter of law, however, now is a moot point with regard to Moira and Mark’s particular case against the construction of the cell tower at their home, as both the cell tower company (AT&T) and the responsible government agency (City of Long Beach) have acknowledged that no tower will be built there.
In an email shared with Moira and Mark, on March 7, 2023, an email response was received by WHYY Public Radio reporter Grant Hill from Christy Moran of AT&T’s Corporate Communications office in Washington, D.C. which stated: “Due to various reasons, we are no longer planning to build a small cell site at that location.” Hill has been working on a story about the national 5g towers issue, highlighting Moira and Mark’s case.
Subsequently, on March 16, 2023, Moira and Mark’s attorney Doug Carstens received an email from Erin Weesner-McKinley, Deputy City Attorney, City of Long Beach, which stated:
“We reached out to Public Works staff and staff relayed that they spoke with Marvin Callejas from Synergy (AT&T agent) yesterday and Mr. Callejas confirmed that the site adjacent to the residence of Hotchkiss and Hahn has been canceled. Mr. Callejas also informed staff that the site will not be relocated to nearby streetlights. This is the first time City has been informed of this development.”
This outcome represents a major victory not just for longtime Long Beach homeowners Moira Hahn and Mark Hotchkiss, as well as their neighbors, but indeed for all Long Beach residents. It shows that sometimes the little guy, if determined and persistent enough, can push back against the combined power of both City Hall and a Fortune 500 corporation and win.
What was the critical variable in stopping it?