Y BLAKE PATERSON | STAFF WRITER DEC 9, 2020
The East Baton Rouge Metro Council approved new rules Wednesday governing the look and placement of 5G cell towers, including a unique provision its authors expect to be copied in cities across the nation.
The ordinance is the culmination of nearly 16 months of work that kicked off last year after an outcry from homeowners, who said they were given little to no notice when AT&T began installing the cell towers in the public rights of way in front of their homes.
Touted as the next generation of wireless broadband, 5G technology promises faster, more reliable internet service. But its rollout locally drew criticism from homeowners’ associations and residents, who say the towers housing the new technology can be eyesores and diminish property values.
The 35-page ordinance requires wireless providers to send a notice via first-class postage — within two days of applying for a construction permit — to all landowners and homeowners’ associations within a 300 foot radius of the site for the proposed facility. The Metro Council member representing the area must also be notified and a blaze orange placard must be placed on-site as notice.