Flash: Telecommunications Companies Win Right to Place Antennas Near Ward Street Homes

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday November 06, 2007

Amidst jeers, catcalls and demands for the mayor's recall – and threats from Mayor Tom Bates that he'd clear the rowdy public from the chambers – the Berkeley City Council voted Tuesday to allow two powerful telecommunications companies to place their antennas atop UC Storage, adjacent to the neighborhood at Ward Street and Shattuck Avenue. The building is owned by developer Patrick Kennedy.  

Voting in favor of overturning a zoning board decision to disallow the antennas were Mayor Tom Bates and Councilmembers Laurie Capitelli, Linda Maio, Betty Olds and Gordon Wozniak. Councilmember Max Anderson voted to uphold the zoning board denial and Councilmembers Dona 

Spring, Darryl Moore and Kriss Worthington abstained. 

The vote came after attorney Kirk Trost, hired as outside counsel by the city, told the council and public clearly what he had been saying in closed sessions: Berkeley could not win the federal court case filed by Verizon, given the telecommuncation companies' rights under the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996.