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Friday, November 28, 2014

Will a fake tree or angel welcome you to Glassell Park?

Proposed Glassell Park monopine/Verizon Wireless

MonoAngel/Courtesy Andrew Montealegre

Verizon Wireless wants to build a 70-foot high  monopine – cell phone  tower disguised like a pine tree – alongside the northbound 2 Freeway near the San Fernando Road exit in Glassell Park.  But some members of the neighborhood council are tired of seeing monopines, in addition to monopalms and monoeucalyptus, sprout across the landscape.  “I don’t like fake trees,” said Andrew Montealegre during last week’s meeting of the Glassell Park Neighborhood  Council Land Use Committee. “I almost like the metal equipment better.”  Instead,  Montealegre and his fellow Land Use Committee members have something else in mind for that cell phone tower: an angel.  “This site has the potential to be a signature location,” said  Montealegre, who proposed topping the top of the tower with an abstract angel.  It’s a symbol that could be used to top other cell phone towers, he said.

“Why can’t you have a city of angels floating over the City of Angels?”

Committee chairwoman Ruby B. De Vera  said the monopines and monopalms are not fooling anyone. Instead, they are pushing cell phone companies to be more creative with the towers. “We are very concerned about how the community will look,” she said.

Committee members talked about why cell phone towers could not resemble water towers or those LAX cylindars that change color at night?  How about two towers with with a welcome sign hanging in between?  In this case, however, the committee asked  Verizon to consider an “art-sensitive” design for the Glassell Park tower.  Montealegre, who submitted two proposals by email of an abstract angel with halo and wings,  said he got the idea from the 400 fiberglass angels that appeared across the city a decade ago.  The monoangel, which could be made from wires attached to the very top of the poles, could put “Glassell Park at the forefront” of creative ways to deal with cell phone towers, Montealegre said.

Verizon representative Argineh Mailian said she would  take the monoart and mono angel ideas back to company officials  but made no promises. She noted that any design or disguise of the cell phone towers, which cost anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000 to build and install, could not interfere with the antenna reception and make economic sense. The property owner would also have to sign off.

Neighborhood council members are keeping their fingers crossed.

” I don’t mind the tree, said Art Camarillo, “but an angel would be nice.”



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  1. The more you try to disguise something, the worse it looks.

  2. The jury is still out as to the harmful radiation coming from these cell reception towers. So ideally I would prefer neither a “tree”, nor an “angel”. With the angel,though, there might be an issue of seperation of relegion and the state. The angel is a relegious,primarily Christian symbol. I am hearing controversy about the expensive Thai angels that decorate the Thai Town area of East Hollywood.

  3. As a resident of Glassell Park and a preservationist of historic roads (of which San Fernando Road as US-99 and US-6 qualifies), I applaud the GPNC’s LUC for their desire to make something attractive out of an undesirable item. However, I would encourage them to instead consider opposing the tower altogether and instead push for co-location of towers on building rooftops in the area where multiple towers can instead be completely hidden. Ideally, co-location of facilities on Saf-Keep Storage, for example, would place them on a building potentially away from view, and would not require a full tower for support. Then, instead, they could be hidden by extending a fake facade in front of them. Further, multiple companies could locate their towers on this one facility out of view entirely. (Speaking of co-location, why couldn’t we be doing this with multiple facilities on the Public Storage building where another facility is already being planned?)

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