Tuesday night, planning commissioners could approve an AT&T Wireless application for a set of new cell phone antennas on top of a building at 1035 San Pablo Ave.
(See , as part of the Feb. 28 Planning & Zoning Commission meeting agenda. Read more about mobile phone issues in Albany here.)
Many in Albany have said the time for improved AT&T service is long overdue, while others have continued to assert that the San Pablo Avenue application is not appropriate.
Opponents of the application have said the 1035 San Pablo rooftop has too much development on it, under city code, to allow for an additional facility to be added to it.
City staff, upon reviewing the location and receiving some recent modifications from AT&T, have recommended that planning commissioners approve the application.
According to the Feb. 28 staff report, prepared by city planner Anne Hersch, the new antenna plans comply with Albany's city code as far as height, placement and setback requirements from residential areas.
The application would allow for the installation of nine antenna units in three groups, on the rooftop of the north, south and east-facing portions of 1035 San Pablo.
From the staff report: "It is one of the tallest buildings in Albany, and one of the few buildings with existing wireless facilities. The building does not have any architectural style or particular elements of interest."
The roof already houses a Sprint wireless facility; as such, the location is considered preferable under Albany city code, which recommends that wireless carriers "co-locate" in the same areas.
According to the staff report, AT&T looked at nine other locations around Albany; AT&T found that they were not appropriate because they did not already house wireless facilities, were not tall enough, or were not available for lease from the property owners.
The antennas "will be housed in new fiberglass enclosures behind the existing parapet wall," according to the staff report. "The antennas will be completely enclosed within an enclosure designed and painted to match the existing building."
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