San Diego’s County Board of Supervisors (BOS) voted on August 7th, 2019, for their County staff version (1) of a new 5G small cell wireless ordinance for the unincorporated part of San Diego County. This ordinance as amended at the meeting, allows industry essentially what it would like.  No residential setbacks from small cells at all, despite hundreds of letters requesting this and scientific evidence of need for distance between small cells and living beings. At Chairperson and Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s motion, a 1000 foot setback for schools was changed to 300 ft setbacks to please industry which had lobbied for this. No protections whatsoever were adopted for distances between existing street poles, where small cells will be placed. No protection for disabled persons who must avoid rf radiation at close range.  A 1000 foot distance between new poles was kept in the ordinance, as far as we know, with co-location of small cells allowed (double the radiation). Staff (including County Counsel) led the Supervisors to believe that they could not have setbacks. So how is it that at least 20 municipalities in CA that County residents presented have these? Does no one check on what staff is saying? Who is running the County and better yet, why is the truth missing on life and death issues like this one?

(1) Note: link is to the non-amended version, amended version approved at BOS meeting will be uploaded shortly.

Supervisors ignore pleas of constituents to protect them from 5G small cells. Hundreds of letters flowed into their offices against 5G; several protest rallies were held, and at least 50 people testified against 5G on four occasions during this 7 month process.

See the letters many sent below, in documents (public communications), and herein.

County lawyers advised with what appears to be questionable information on whether the County could require telecoms to test annually and pay for County hiring 3rd parties to test rf emissions to be sure they are in alignment with FCC guidelines. Otherwise it is self-reporting and only done at the start of the permit, not annually. The atty said that could not be allowed because it would be “based on health”. County residents working with the County staff to frame this wireless ordinance wanted testing every year to ensure safety. The  reason for the FCC guidelines is to protect from tissue heating and thermal burns from rf radiation when it exceeds a certain amount.

Section 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 says:
`(iv) No State or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission’s regulations concerning such emissions.


FURTHER, MANY OTHER MUNICIPALITIES ARE PROVIDING RESIDENTIAL AND SCHOOL SETBACKS FOR THEIR COMMUNITIES. THESE CAN BE JUSTIFIED BASED ON AESTHETICS, TECHNICALLY. But the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, despite expressing angst when they voted to crucify the entire county, did it eagerly, because they allowed it to happen and already had made up their minds, with a written statement by Supervisor Jacob being read and it passed unanimously. Never trust a politician. At least not in our County.

Next steps: legal challenges?

What can you do?

  1. At the very least we suggest boycotting all-things 5G, and wireless too, if you can manage it! This writer does, no wireless in the house or car, and no cell phone. Landline only and wired internet. Opt-out of the local utility smart meters (for electric, gas, and water). Works just fine! Much healthier.
  2. Stay tuned for legal developments – the FCC orders may be overturned, as parts of it were on Aug. 9th, 2019.
  3. Share this information widely on social media and your email list.
  4. Write your supervisor in San Diego County about your concerns! With enough public sentiment against the County’s 5G plan, these Supervisors could be brought around to seeing the light and protect for safety and property as other municipalities such as many in Marin County have. Perhaps San Diego County needs better legal advisement from those specializing in protecting citizens and safety with cellular equipment.
  5. Stop 5G in your community!Don’t live in San Diego County? Contact your local municipality to find out what their small cell wireless ordinance looks like and get involved in the process, hold a protest, speak at meetings, modify this letter for local use.
  6. Member of the Sierra Club? Write their national board to ask that they take a position against 5G. California Sierra Club has already done so, but National Sierra is dragging its heels.
  7. Host 5G talks in your area, gather contact info and start a local action-group. See if Dafna Tachover is available! She is a popular wireless and 5G presenter. Her website is here. Or show a 5G film about wireless and 5G dangers like Generation Zapped and hold a discussion using info from our website or
  8. Hold a local rally, no matter if just a few show up – invite concerned people in your community to attend! Rallies = media coverage if paired with any related event, government meeting or local talk. Media coverage = raising awareness for thousands in your community. Have protest signs with wording (do search on “5g protest signs”) and don’t forget to include photos of small cells.

Topanga Canyon, co-located pole with 2 cells (antennas) at top left, with radio boxes at midpole. Very ugly AND dangerous.

IMPORTANT: Contact your San Diego County Supervisor to let him/her know how you feel about their unanimous vote to drench the County in microwave and millimeter microwave radiation when they admitted it would have health effects during the meeting, and were told it was unsafe and could make homes virtually unsellable if a small cell is placed in front of or near a home. For shame.

Read a letter on the dangers of 5G sent to the BOS from local UCSD world-renowned researcher, Dr. Beatrice Golomb.

See what the County of Marin did – held a 5G workshop to hear from their constituents, then Marin County passed a protective ordinance.

Watch the August 7th Board of Supervisors meeting here and see what you think! Agenda Item 6, Wireless Small Cell Ordinance, begins at 20:45.

Associated documents:

County Supervisors OK 5G Ordinance But Vent Frustration At FCC
Thursday, August 8, 2019
By City News Service

(An article with several errors but one which  gives the flavor of the meeting:)