Forum Connect

Fwd: Best Practices for 5G Infrastructure in Historic Districts

  • 1.  Fwd: Best Practices for 5G Infrastructure in Historic Districts

    Posted 03-25-2020 14:29

    Greetings from Phoenix! By way of introduction, I serve on the governing board of the Willo Historic District - the largest of Phoenix's thirty-five designated historic districts.

    I would appreciate any resources, information, or experiences anyone can provide on the roll-out of 5G infrastructure in historic neighborhoods. Verizon employees are currently surveying our area and determining where to place the new 5G equipment. To date, we've received no formal notification, nor have we had an opportunity for input. I'm told the towers are far smaller than the current system, and must be placed closer together - 300 - 500 ft. apart. This is likely to have a huge visual impact. I would appreciate any information you can provide on how these concerns have been addressed in your area.


    Opal Wagner

  • 2.  RE: Fwd: Best Practices for 5G Infrastructure in Historic Districts

    Posted 03-26-2020 11:57
    Hello @Opal Wagner

    Thanks for asking this question. I've reached out to some of our staff to see if they have suggestions, but in the meantime here is an older thread where a similar question was asked that might help.

    This is an example of work the National Trust did with the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance a few years ago in regards to a much LARGER transmission project. It won't give you the specifics I think you are looking for but it may provide some suggestions.

    I'm sure others in the community will have suggestions as well!

    Forum Connect Community Manager

    Priya Chhaya
    Associate Director, of Content
    National Trust for Historic Preservation
    Washington DC

  • 3.  RE: Fwd: Best Practices for 5G Infrastructure in Historic Districts

    Posted 03-26-2020 15:19
    In Utah, the state legislature passed a law that precludes all local municipalities from regulating 5G wireless communications as to their ability to erect where necessary. The Utah SHPO has a PA with the wireless carriers, negotiated by a third party environmental firm, that directs them to receive input from the Utah SHPO when any tower is to be located in or adjacent to a national or local historic district, or national or local historic site, and then to at all opportunities avoid that location that may be considered an adverse impact.

    I found all this out when I saw three black 5G towers in a local historic district go up in the course of a week last fall. I decided to get directly involved because that didn't seem like appropriate locations to me. I contacted SHPO and they had zero record of any communication about any potential tower locations. So I knew the communication was not good. The SHPO gave me the contact info for the third party compliance company, I contacted them and they were very responsive. Unfortunately, they could also not provide me with any communications that had transpired with SHPO for the specific towers I inquired about. So, in the end there was a process of zero review for these and there is no appeal or mitigation process. Unless I want to force it with SHPO and ACHP.

    On the positive side, the third party company contacted me directly about a new proposed location, again in a listed NR and local historic district. I replied with a strongly worded letter encouraging them to look for other locations. I've driven by the location a few times and not seen anything yet, but I also did not receive a reply from the company about my letter.

    My conclusion, they will be sneaky to try to get them in until someone discovers it and says something. And even then, it may not make a difference, at least in Utah given our current legal situation.

    Photo of 5G tower in SLC attached. They are menacing given their color.

    Kirk Huffaker
    Salt Lake City UT