This week, the Assembly Communications & Conveyance Committee held a special consideration hearing on RCRC-opposed Senate Bill 649, authored by Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego). SB 649 would eliminate local consideration of the aesthetic and environmental impacts of “small cell” structures and force counties to lease space to wireless companies at a rate set by the Legislature.
The Assembly Communications & Conveyance Committee heard testimony and debated the bill for nearly two hours. Humboldt County Supervisor and RCRC Vice Chair Rex Bohn provided strong testimony on the detrimental impacts of this bill on RCRC member counties. While there were a number of questions regarding the lack of aesthetic and design review included in the bill, SB 649 passed out of the Assembly Communications & Conveyance Committee on 10 “Aye” votes, 0 “No” votes, and 3 abstentions. The bill will be set for hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee after the legislature returns for summer break August 21, 2017.
RCRC continues to urge Member Counties to join in opposition of this legislation. At this time, sixteen RCRC Member Counties have submitted letters of opposition, which can be accessed here. The text of the bill can be accessed here. RCRC’s joint statement on the Committee’s passage of SB 649 can be accessed here.