The County Board of Supervisors overturned the decision of their county planning staff Tuesday and denied a permit for a proposed 100 foot monopine cell phone tower in a wash area at 147 E. Loma Alta Drive.
Led by Altadena's representative, Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who described the project as "visually intrusive" the board voted unanimously on denying the permit to AT & T.
The ruling came after an appeal to the decision of a County Regional Planning Commission, which in February. Staff in the Planning Department had advised the Board of Supervisors to uphold that ruling and deny the appeal, which was filed by several Altadena residents in the area.
Antonovich noted that the proposal was to build an 100 foot tower with the appearance of a pine tree in an area where the maximum building height was zoned for 35 feet. He said he believed the project is inconsistent with neighborhood standards.
His opinion was shared by several neighbors immediately adjacent to the property who came to the hearing to oppose the project.
"It will be as tall as a seven or eight story building," said Altadena resident Lillian Jones. "When you mar the landscape with this kind of tower, the tower becomes the landscape."
Jones' opinion is not shared by everyone in the area: county staff noted that they received 53 letter or emails in favor of the project, and only eight in opposition. However, the staff report does also include a petition opposing the project that was signed by more than 40 people.
Many of the supporters noted in their letters that they believe the project would have helped improve poor cell phone reception in Altadena.
The Altadena Town Council also supported the project and Town Council member (and Altadena Patch columnist) Greg Middleton spoke in favor of it at Tuesday's meeting.