The residents of Danville are in a fight for their lives against Verizon.
The residents won an appeal with our town government, which denied a Verizon cell site 50 feet from a family's home. Verizon wanted that particular cell site, and took Danville to court.
The Judge allowed our resident group, Danville Citizens for Responsible Growth (DCRG) to intervene as a co-defendant. Thank goodness that motion was granted, as DCRG has rallied on behalf of the families in Danville. That cell site is not operating, nothing has been installed, and we hope to keep it that way.
At the hearing, the Judge took Verizon's side and gave a tentative (not final) ruling supporting their motion for summary judgment. The town of Danville attorney rolled over, throwing Danville families under the bus, and only asked that Verizon be held to the same permit conditions as originally approved by the planning commission back in 2018. She didn't even try to get better conditions that would monitor RF emissions, which we now have, thanks to recent court cases. Below are excerpts from her testimony.
Harriet Steiner, BBK Law Firm for the Town of Danville: [her explanation of why the Town of Danville did not do its own RF emissions testing to be able to factually or quantitatively challenge Verizon's emissions modeling] "because they [Verizon] loaded all of the, I’ll just call them exceptions [into their proprietary software] cuz I’m a lawyer not an RF engineer...."
Later, after making a ridiculous series of disconnected statements, she then asked if the Verizon attorney would agree with her and "what we would like to see in the order is that if the court goes forward to require the town to approve the site, that it’s approved subject to the all of the conditions that were part of the planning commission’s approval so that we have the normal set of conditions applicable to the small cell that would have occurred if there had not been an appeal or the council had denied the appeal." We have never seen a lawyer give up so quickly and present such a weak defense. We believe it may have been the direction she was given by the town - to get this lawsuit over with and just get the cell site approved and running. It wasn't worth the time or money to stop or even slow this down.
Our saving grace was DCRG's attorney, Anita Taff-Rice, who has worked tirelessly and without pay to protect us, stopping this train in its tracks.
We can turn this around, but not for free. We have not been able to pay her since December. She has covered the hearing, the motions, the responses, the communications with Danville's attorney on her own dime. If we don't raise money and pay her, she cannot (and should not) help us any longer.
Please consider donating to our legal fund. Without our attorney, it's over. We cannot ever get back to this point of stopping cell tower deployments next to people's homes. There's no more time - we have to respond to the judge immediately. Thank you.
Plaintiff: Verizon - GTE Mobilnet of California Limited Partnership
Defendant: Town of Danville
Case Number: 3:2019cv01886
Filed: April 8, 2019