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.”