Rochester City Council on Monday, November 26, unanimously approved a resolution to oppose the passage of state legislation that would clear the way for statewide implementation of future 5G wireless service by overriding local zoning rights.
Rochester City Manager Blaine Wing said council in October requested a discussion on the legislation when the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) came out opposing the legislation after it passed the state House Energy Policy Committee. The bill would allow telecommunication providers to install equipment to implement the new technology with less local government oversight and in local rights of way with minimal payment to local municipalities. Local municipalities would not be able to object to incursion into rights of ways.
Wing said that under the new technology, cell towers would take a different form. Instead of large towers, the new cell towers will often be mounted on light poles; the equipment on the pole will be no more than 6-cubic feet , about the size of an electrical transformer or large refrigerator. And, the new cells will cover smaller arcs (about 300 feet), which means more will be installed. Each telecom company would be permitted to install their own equipment at the same site.
The bill will limit oversight of the placement of the new cells and limit any revenue that may be collected from wireless providers.
Council unanimously approved a resolution to oppose the legislation.
Despite opposition from several local governments, particularly across Oakland County, the state legislature passed the bill with passage from the state Senate in March and the House approving the bill on Wednesday, November 28.