Reasons for Exemption
The Project is exempt from CEQA pursuant to State CEQA Guidelines Section 15301 (Existing Facilities). Section 15301 applies to the operation, repair, maintenance, permitting, leasing, licensing, or minor alteration of existing public or private structures, facilities, mechanical equipment, or topographical features, involving negligible or no expansion of use beyond that existing at the time of the lead agency's determination. The proposed Project consists of the co-location of nine, new wireless antennas on a 20’ extension on top of an existing 67’-6” pine tree cellular tower (monopine) with two existing wireless telecommunications antenna arrays. Associated equipment will be installed to the west of the base of the tower. The additional antennas will not introduce any new uses not already existing at the site. Furthermore, as evidenced by the Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Energy Compliance Report by EBI Consulting, the radio frequency emissions from the proposed AT&T antennas will be 0.16% of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) exposure limits at the nearest walking/working surface. The report noted that cumulatively, existing antennas considered, the radio frequency emissions from the tower will only be 0.71% of the FCC exposure limits at the nearest walking/working surface. Staff reviewed the proposed Project and did not find any evidence that special circumstances exist that would create a reasonable possibility that the proposed Project will have a significant adverse effect on the environment. Therefore, the proposed Project qualifies for the exemption under State CEQA Guidelines Section 15301.