Verizon

Hello neighbors:

Here’s a timeline of Verizon’s third attempt to obtain a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from LA City Zoning Administration to install a wireless tower and equipment at 2512 Robertson.

Please read the account of RVNA’s efforts to defeat Verizon’s 2014 application on the RVNA (Reynier Village Neighborhood Association) website, written by Elisa Leonelli, RVNA Communications (March 2009-February 2017)

September 23, 2017

Linda Theung, Gibson Street resident, alerts neighbors on Nextdoor-Reynier Village. She received from Verizon Notice of October 19 Hearing at City Hall, because her home is within a 500 feet radius of the proposed tower.

September 24, 2017

Elisa Leonelli, former RVNA Co-President, emails current RVNA Co-Presidents, SORONC (South Robertson Neighborhood Council), Herb Wesson’s deputy Liz Carlin, City Attorney’s Office, inquires if Verizon is able to apply again because they won a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles, asks how to locate Verizon’s application, urges to organize a letter writing campaign opposing the celltower. Copies volunteers who helped last year.

Elisa forwards to RVNA Co-President Andrew Leavenworth the flyer written by Deni Mosser in 2016, printed and distributed by Mitchel Balmayne to residents those 4 streets, Beverlywood, Gibson, 24th, 25th East of Robertson, by Sandra Willard on same streets West of Robertson. Also copy of the petition signed by 43 Robertson Merchants, written and circulated by Dennis Bain.

Andrew replies that RVNA will mobilize to address the situation.

Deni replies offering to forward copy of the March 10, 2016 letter of denial of Verizon’s request, with the names of the 110 residents who wrote to the Zoning Administration opposing the celltower. (We have that 14-page document on file, will email upon request)

Deni emails 24th St neighbor Dennis Bain, acknowledging his help in collecting signatures from 43 Robertson Merchant opposing the celltower in 2016, warning that we will have to fight the same battle all over again.

24th St Ari Coen replies to Deni, asking who owns that location with so many parking spaces.

SORONC President Doug Fitzsimmons replies that the 2512 Robertson building is owned by en elderly woman, who believes it is in her financial interest to keep it empty, that her son disagrees.

September 25, 2017

Elisa suggests to Linda to repost the hearing notice to include Castle Heights, posts notice as one JPG.

Linda reposts on Nextdoor to all Neighborhoods, following Deni’s and Andrew’s advice.

Andrew emails the RVNA Board about taking action.

Sandra Willard from Castle Heights emails Elisa that she can now read her Nextdoor post
“Ideally we would like to a have a restaurant with an outdoor patio at this location. The parking lot is gated and large, and there’s additional parking in the back. There would be no room for that with this huge and noisy celltower.”

September 26, 2017

Beverlywood Street resident Jonathan Norton suggests to Andrew that RVNA hire an attorney to fight against the Verizon celltower.

September 27, 2017

Elisa writes to Linda, copying Sandra, that the best way to fight the celltower is not on Nextdoor, but by printing and distributing a flyer, as it was done in 2016.

Linda deletes the wide posting on Nextdoor because of trolls interference.

Elisa posts on Nextdoor address and case number to send emails to City Planner
Case number: ZA-2017-3013-CUW. RE: Verizon celltower at 2512 Robertson Blvd. LA 90034

Elisa suggest that Linda call City Planner Alam Choudhury: 213-978 1467, to find out the deadline for submitting letters before the hearing.

Elisa emails Liz Carlin, copying everyone, asking for her advice and support, how to locate a copy of Verizon’s new application, and the outcome of the lawsuit.

Linda adds Krystal Navar’s email to Elisa’s message, she is chair of SORONC LUED (Land Use and Economic Development) Committee

Doug replies that Veronica De La Cruz, prosecutor at LA City Attorney’s office, hasn’t heard of any Verizon lawsuit, although that does not mean that it did not happen.

Elisa emails to everyone June 20, 2016 letter of denial of Verizon’s appeal.

Elisa speaks with Andrew and RVNA Communications Edgardo Perez, at Great Streets Townhall meeting, offers to send an updated list of residents of those 4 streets.

September 28, 2017

Elisa emails SORONC Marj Safinia copying Doug, reminding her of the promise she made in person the night before to contact City Planning for copy of Verizon’s application, and City Attorney’s Office to find out outcome of Verizon’s lawsuit.

Doug replies that they will try and get more info from City Planning, but has no contacts at City Attorney’s Office, copies Liz Carlin for help.

Linda speaks with City Planner, he says that residents should send emails, if they oppose Verizon’s application, deadline October 13, 5 days before the hearing.

Krystal posts on SORONC website agenda of October 3 LUED meeting, and Verizon’s application, signed on June 9, 2017 by absentee property owner Amy Liu (626-794 4934, 594 E. Poppyfields Drive, Altadena CA 91001), on June 5, 2017 by Lisa Desmond of Delta Groups Engineering for Verizon Wireless.  (We have this document on file, will email upon request)

Krystal posts to Nextdoor SORO NC Land Use Meeting October 3rd and agenda.

September 29, 2017

Elisa tanks Krystal for posting the the documents, downloads flyer that Verizon mailed to residents within 500 feet radius, with deceptive photo of celltower looking much shorter than actual size, posts on Nextdoor to Reynier Village and Castle Heights.

Deni posts to Nextdoor BOTTOM LINE: The property isn’t zoned for a cell tower, PERIOD.

Liz Carlin’s replies to Doug’s email to Elisa, copying SORONC and RVNA. She was sick. YES residents should send letters to City Planner, then Councilman Wesson can oppose at October 19 hearing. We need people to attend the hearing in person.

Elisa emails Lisa Desmond, asking for location of Verizon’s existing cell towers in South Robertson.

September 30, 2016

Deni emails everyone that Verizon’s presentation shows the 52 feet fake tree as about 30 feet tall.

Dennis Bain emails Elisa, Deni, RVNA, SORONC, Liz Carlin, attaches the list of 43 Robertson Merchants who signed the 2016 petition against the celltower, quotes the 2016 decision by Zoning Administrator.
1: The project will not enhance the built environment in the surrounding neighborhood nor will perform a function or provide a service that is essential or beneficial to the community.
2: The project’s location, size, height, operations and other features will not be compatible with and will adversely affect or further degrade adjacent properties, the surrounding neighborhood, or the public health, welfare and safety.
Adds more reasons
3: SoRo won the LA $500,000 grant to re-invent SoRo. Verizon’s new attempt to destroy our new plan is literally the exact opposite of the City of L.A.’s expectation of renewal.
4: If the tower is built it will immediately devalue and significantly prevent the attached, vacant commercial restaurant space to be appropriately developed.

Elisa thanks Dennis

October 1, 2017

Linda writes and prints flyer with information about Verizon’s attempt, distributes with help from Harry Rosenfeld to those 4 streets East of Robertson. Sandra Willard distributes West of Robertson.

Deni posts to Nextdoor Verizon’s application’s drawing with height of celltower, reaching to telephone wires.

Elisa posts to Nextdoor
Attend the SORONC LandUse Meeting. Tuesday October 3 at 6.30pm
Before October 13, write email to City Planner Alam.Choudhury@lacity.org
Case number: ZA-2017-3013-CUW. RE: Verizon Celltower at 2512 Robertson
October 19, 10am. Attend Hearing at LA City Hall. 200 N Spring St. Room 720 LA 90012

October 2, 2017

Heidi Flato <heidi.flato@verizonwireless.com> from Verizon replies to Elisa, sends a generic educational handout, defines South Robertson as Beverlywood.

October 3, 2017

1.20am RVNA Communications  sends to mailing list message written by Co-president Michael Rozales with notice of October 3 SORONC LEUD meeting among other subjects, but confusing it with LA City hearing date of October 19.

8.30pm SORONC LUED meeting. Residents speak against the Verizon celltower: Elisa Leonelli and Hector Garza (former RVNA Co-Presidents), Jonathan Norton, Harry Rosenfeld, Lisa Barnet and James Gierman, Nick Spark, Tal Grinblat, Aleksander Tamm-Seitz, Scott Weintraub, Larry DeMers, Sandra Willard, and many others. Deni Mosser reads letter to SORONC LUED, listing reasons to deny support for celltower.

October 4

Elisa emails Linda, SORONC, RVNA and everyone who attended the LEUD meeting that she has MP3 recording available to Dropbox. 153 MG too big to email

Tal Grinblat downloads documents of Verizon’s lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles filed in US (Federal) District Court, emails to Doug, Elisa, RVNA. Elisa forwards the 6 PDFs to Liz Carlin and everyone. (Available to email upon request)

Elisa posts on Nextdoor revised rendering showing actual height of celltower.

Deni posts on Nextdoor how to take the Metro to City Hall to attend October 19 hearing, her letter to SORONC LUED Committee

Andrew posts on Nextdoor portions of 2016 letter of denial from Zoning Administration.
4: The tallest buildings in this stretch of Robertson Blvd. are two stories or approx. 25 feet in height, and the billboards are about 40 feet high. The tower will be the tallest structure in the area and it will be incompatible to surrounding building heights. Therefore, both the height and the use of the proposed telecommunications monopole are not compatible with the surrounding neighborhood”

October 5, 2015

Elisa emails everyone details from the lawsuit documents that she examined. Verizon filed against the City of Los Angeles, on July 7, 2016, one month after they lost the appeal on June 7.
August 8, 2016. Michael Feuer, Attorneys for Defendant. Answer to Complaint of Plaintiff: Verizon Wireless Email Deputy City Attorney: Ernesto Velazquez CASE N: 2:16-CV-04954 BRO (Beverly Reid O’Connell). Defendant DENIES each and every allegation of the Complaint.
So they lost the case, then Verizon appealed to US District Court, California. March 9, 2017 they reached a settlement, granted March 24. CASE N: LA CV16-04954 JAK. A redesign of Verizon’s telecommunication facility, and a public hearing before Zoning Administration

Andrew posts to Nextdoor long portions of these documents.

Andrew emails Elisa that he will ask RVNA Communication to email everyone on RVNA Mailing list a revised version of flyer that Linda is writing, with details on how to write letters to City Planner opposing the tower.

October 6, 2017

Elisa post short summary on Nextdoor
On July 7, 2016, one month after their appeal was denied, Verizon sued the City of Los Angeles, and they lost. Now they have to start the same process all over again, apply for a City permit to install a 52 feet wireless tower on South Robertson. The only “amenity” they offer “the SORO community”? Planting shrubs in the 9×11 feet cement base of the giant fake eucalyptus.

October 7, 2017

Elisa posts to Nextdoor a few sentences from VERIZON COMPLAINT against LA City, July 7, 2017
29. Some residents submitted letters in opposition to the proposed facility, which claimed the screened and visually integrated facilities would somehow be aesthetically incompatible with the area, and alleged they could adversely impact children’s health due to radio-frequency (“RF”) energy. Such concerns are expressly preempted by the 1996 FCC Act.
30. Commissioners’ discussions during the appeal hearing focused on their concerns about (b) an alleged “absentee” landlord, (c) the ability to redevelop the property due to the Project, (d) a general dislike for wireless communications facilities being located near residential properties. The Commissioners disregarded the substantial evidence presented by Verizon Wireless’s representatives about (b) how few, if any, commercial properties existed in the coverage gap area that were of sufficient height to provide feasible locations for rooftop antenna facilities that could close the gap. They also claimed that the facility would be incompatible with the community, despite the existence of many unconcealed utility structures and billboards in the area.

Elisa creates this page for the Reynier Village Blog with all relevant info, emails link to everyone who wrote letters and emails against the tower in Reynier Village, Sandra forwards link to Castle Heights residents.

Deni emails Elisa that she took Andrew to view the proposed celltower site at 2512 and 2516 Robertson, confirmed that the 52 feet tower would be over 11 feet higher than the telephone poles at 40 feet.

Linda sends to Elisa and Sandra revised version of flyer, with info from the SORONC LEUD meeting. She asks Andrew to email to RVNA mailing list.

October 8, 2017

Elisa emails Doug, Krystal, Jon Liberman, of SORONC LUED suggesting they ask Verizon representatives for a copy the slide they showed at meeting, with existing celltowers in red and alternative locations in green.

Deni emails letter to Zoning Administration, copying Elisa, RVNA, SORONC, Liz Carlin.

Nick Spark sends letter to Zoning Administration, copying Elisa, Linda, Sandra.

Miss Donuts’ owner and Reynier Village resident sends letter to Zoning Administration opposing Verizon celltower to be installed right next to his business.

October 9, 2017

Andrew starts a new thread on Nextdoor for Reynier Village and Castle Heights Neighborhoods.
Opposition to Verizon Cell Tower- Email/Letter

Andrew emails message with same info to SORONC and 13 residents opposed to cell tower.

Elisa writes letter to City Planner, copying RVNA, SORONC President, Liz Carlin, posts it on Nextdoor.  Adds link to posts about Robertson Blvd in Reynier Village Blog.

Elisa emails Beth Hirsch, Dan Fink-SORONC Quality of Life, suggesting they send a message about the Verizon celltower to all Robertson Businesses on their mailing list.

RVNA Communications forwards Andrew’s email to Reynier Village residents on RVNA mailing list.


October 10, 2017

Elisa emails Edgardo Perez-RVNA Communications, and RVNA Co-Presidents Andrew and Michael Rozales, asking for cooperation in the fight against celltower. Andrew replies that outreach has been completed.

Nick continues going door to door to Robertson Businesses. Argentinian Empanadas, The Dance Store, Emil’s Hardware, write letters to City Planner. Nick follows up with an email, urging others to write, attaching Miss Donuts’ heartfelt letter. Green Beginnings Pres-school and Rachel Rosenthal Company respond.

October 11, 2017

Elisa posts on Nextdoor 2016 petition against Verizon celltower circulated by Dennis Bain, signed by 43 Robertson Businesses, delivered to Zoning Administration before appeal, denied June 7, 2016.

RVNA Andrew and Edgardo share with volunteers Elisa, Linda, Nick, Sandra, the list of 19 Reynier Village residents who copied RVNA in their letters to City Planner so far.

October 12, 2017

Elisa thanks RVNA, sends names of 10 Robertson Businesses who sent letters against the celltower.

Sandra adds that 12 residents West of Robertson sent letters.

Elisa sends RVNA names of 110 SORO Residents East and West of Robertson, who sent letters to Zoning Administration in 2016, as listed in the March 10, 2016 denial of Verizon’s application.

RVNA sends reminder to everyone on RVNA mailing list that Deadline for submitting letters if Friday, October 13.

Elisa sends email to everyone who wrote letters in 2016, but not yet in 2017, to please email  City Planner against Verizon celltower TODAY, deadline is tomorrow, and copy RVNA.

Liz Carlin reports that she spoke with City Planner Alam Choudhury and he has received over 80 email letters opposing the Verizon cell tower as of today.

October 13, 2017

Edgardo, RVNA Communications, sends more names of residents who copied RVNA in their letters to City Planner to Elisa, Linda, Nick, Sandra

Sandra sends to Elisa names of residents of Beverlywood St who sent letter.

October 14, 2017

Elisa updates and combines the lists of letters sent: 11 Robertson Businesses, 44 Reynier Village Residnets, 18 Castle Heights residents.

Elisa suggests to Andrew and Edgardo of RVNA and all the volunteers in this effort (Linda, Nick, Sandra, Deni, Tal, Mitchel, Dennis, Edgardo, Jonny, Harry) that it’s time to plan a strategy for the October 19 hearing.

Andrew replies to an email from Dennis who forwarded his letter to Elisa and RVNA, that City Planner might be under the impression that he has to approve Verizon’s application this time, so he emailed him and Liz Carlin the Settlement Agreement, saying that this is not the case.

Elisa thanks Andrew, suggests that we may need legal advice to understand why in March 2017 Verizon and the City of Los Angeles agreed on a settlement, after Verizon’s July 2016 complaint was denied.

Andrew forwards the email he sent to Liz Carlin.

October 15, 2017

Elisa emails to everyone the names of the City Attorneys who denied Verizon’s complaint in August 2016, and the email of one of them, Ernesto Velasquez.  She suggests again the SORONC request from Verizon the map of their existing celltowers and locations they tried but failed to acquire. She forwards Larry DeMers’s advice.

Deni replies that it is not SORONC business to help Verizon find alternate locations for the celltower they claim they need to address a gap in coverage.

October 18, 2017

Elisa posts on Nextdoor reminder that the hearing is tomorrow at City Hall, with info on taking the Metro, and Liz Carlin’s offer of free parking at City Hall.

October 20, 2017

Elisa thanks those residents who attended the hearing: Andrew, Anura, Deni, Harry, Hector, Jessica, Linda, Nick + Eric, Karen, Laurence, also Mike for Emil’s Hardware, Doug Fitzsimmons for SORONC and Liz Carlin for Herb Wesson.

October 23, 2017

Elisa emails report from Nick to those residents and businesses who sent letters to City Planner opposing the Verizon celltower and copied RVNA.

Elisa posts on Nextdoor details from reports received by Nick and Andrew. Zoning Administrator David Weintraub, Verizon representatives Kevin Sullivan and William Desmond. Advices that letters may still be submitted until November 3.

Andrew responds on Nextdoor encouraging residents to send letters.

October 24, 2017

Deni sends second letter to City Planner, with photos of graffiti on 2512 Robertson building, copies Andrew, Elisa, Linda

October 25, 2017

Deni sends third letter, with more photos of blight at 2512 Robertson, copies RVNA, Doug, Liz, Elisa

Doug sends email reminder to Elisa of tomorrow’s SOROC Board meeting where the proposed celltower would be discussed. From the agenda posted on SORONC website: Motion to oppose installation of a wireless telecommunication facility at 
2512 S. Robertson

October 26, 2017

RVNA emails report of October 19 hearing, notifies residents that letters may still be sent to City Planner until November 3.

October 27, 2017

Deni emails report of October 26 meeting, where SORONC Board voted in opposition to the celltower, Verizon reps made presentation, followed by questions and comments.

October 31, 2017

Doug Fitzimmons writes letter to City Planner on behalf of SORONC Board,  in his email copying Herb Wesson, Council President, and Mike Feuer, LA City Attorney, he states: For three decades, this community has fought to bring its moribund business district back from the dead, to create a vibrant, safe, walkable area that serves our neighborhood. The Mayor’s Great Streets initiative, driven by grassroots activism and outreach, has finally given us hope. To be blunt, this project drives a 52′ spike into that effort.

November 15, 2017

Linda checked on the LA City website, at this link to Case Number: ZA-2017-3013-CUW, found that no decision has been reached, yet. Andrew replied that Zoning Admnistrator at October 19 hearing said it would take 6 to 8 weeks after November 3.

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