Rick Meyer

UPDATED MEDIA ADVISORY: NEW DATE DUE TO WEATHER “No Cell Towers 30 Feet from Homes!” – Residents to Rally At Montgomery County Council Building Oct. 11th at 11:30 am

(Download the PDF Version)

October 3rd, 2022
The Montgomery County Coalition to Protect Neighborhoods
Contact: Eric Meyer

Rockville, MD — With the lame-duck Montgomery County Council poised to ignore resident opposition and approve cell towers on poles just 30 feet from homes, a coalition of grassroots groups will rally against this major proposed zoning change at the County Council building Tuesday, Oct. 11th, at 11:30 AM. And these groups invite the Council to come out and talk about it.

When: Oct. 11th, at 11:30 am

Where: Steps of the County Council Building 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850

Why a Rally? – With just days remaining before the general election, the outgoing Council is continuing to pursue this zoning change despite intense resident opposition -- including a flood of letters and phone calls and unanimously negative testimony from residents at a public hearing on Sept. 13th. Of the residents who signed up to testify at the hearing, the Council allowed only about a third of them to speak.

Some members of the Council appear resistant to meeting with residents. Now residents will bring the conversation to the Council’s own front door!

What Residents Want –

  • For the current Council to stop all activity on ZTA 22-01.
  • For Councilmembers to join residents on October 11th, when the Council breaks for lunch, and speak with their constituents.
  • For the incoming Council, after the general election, to thoroughly review the County’s zoning and regulation of wireless facilities which is out of control, as true stories shared by residents will show. And to take up the proposal by current Council Vice President Evan Glass last year to convene a stakeholder advisory group that would include residents, industry, and others.

About ZTA 22-01 – The Montgomery County Council is tentatively scheduled to vote in October on a zoning text amendment (ZTA) that would allow utility and light poles to be converted into cell towers just 30 feet from houses, apartments, and condos in residential neighborhoods. Residents would receive no prior notice, no public hearing, and no right to appeal. The antennas would be placed on taller, thicker replacement poles with bulky new equipment boxes that obstruct driver and pedestrian line of vision. By reducing the allowable distance from the current 60 feet down to only 30 feet, this ZTA would nearly double the number of eligible poles to about 65,000. This comes on the heels of the Council adopting last year the wildly unpopular wireless zoning change ZTA 19-07, despite thousands of residents writing letters opposing it.

"I moved to Montgomery County because I grew to love it here and thought it would be my forever home," says Nicole Williams, a Silver Spring resident who is active in the Coalition. "Now I'm fearful of one day waking up to a cell tower outside of my home. I cannot afford to just up and move but would be left with no choice because I would have to put my family's health first."

There is no plausible legal argument for the 30-foot setbacks in ZTA 22-01, says Eric Meyer, executive director of the Montgomery County Coalition for the Control of Cell Towers (MC4T). "A majority of the current Council is pandering to lobbyists, instead of representing the constituents they were elected to protect,” Meyer adds. “Nearly 40% of candidates in the July primary election signed or supported our pledge to reform wireless regulation in the County, which is what the Council should be working on.”


For more information, see the following:

Promotional tear sheet for the rally with background info

Website with legislative history

Residents’ letter to Councilmembers

Written testimony from residents

Video testimony from residents

Racial equity and social justice letter

Primary election candidate pledge

The Montgomery County Coalition to Protect Neighborhoods is a grassroots group of residents working to reform the regulation of wireless facilities while prioritizing the public interest, including protection of human health, trees, wildlife, and the environment. Groups represented at the October 11th rally also include Community Vision for Takoma, MC4T, MocoSafeG, and Tech Wise Montgomery County MD.

Posted by adminMC4T in media advisory