The City Council of Pinole agreed upon a lease with Verizon Wireless for a 1,000-square-foot patch of land in Pinole Valley Park where they want to build a cell phone tower. After a long deliberation, the council decided to concede and allow Verizon to construct the cell tower. Six months ago, the city council and Verizon signed a lease giving the wireless company permission to build a tower, but the council decided to reject the lease last month, upsetting Verizon. Verizon threatened to sue the city because they were breaking a valid, binding lease.
Tom Lochner reported for the San Jose MercuryNews that, “Councilmen Roy Swearingen and Tim Banuelos invoked fiscal responsibility on one hand and popular sentiment and principle on the other before opting for the former in explaining their vote. Councilman Peter Murray also voted to ratify, noting that the city and Verizon had worked together for the better part of three years to settle on a site; that, coupled with the fact that a Planning Commission subcommittee had picked the cell tower site after ruling out several other potential ones in or near the park, made it highly unlikely that Pinole would prevail if the matter were to go to court, Murray said.”
The most recent debate on the topic of the cell tower site focused more on the legalities of the project since a lease had already been agreed upon and signed by the city and the wireless company. Verizon is looking forward to completing this project in Pinole and boosting cell phone coverage for the surrounding residents.