Crowley Lake residents, sick of poor-to-non-existent mobile service and slow, slow, broadband, can breathe a sigh of relief now that the county planning commission approved a cell tower site.
The location of the site, north of Crowley and out of the developed area, has avoided the intense community controversy that accompanied the last cell tower site which was proposed behind a laundromat in the center of the town.
“I couldn’t be happier,” said the area’s Supervisor Hap Hazard, who has long advocated for better service for his district. His support for the cell tower site stemmed from a concern about communicating properly with residents during emergencies.
Although the planning commission last week unanimously approved the site, there is still work to be done before the site can be developed this summer. The site sits on Los Angeles Department of Water and Power land, meaning the L.A. City Council must approve the cell tower.
The Department of Fish and Game also stated it needed a sage grouse study to make sure there are no grouse in the area.
The sage grouse that live in Mono County are considered to be candidates for the federal endangered species act, which prohibits any actions that might negatively impact the grouse.
Getting the city council to sign off the one project is routine, and the grouse study should also go smoothly, said Mono County Supervisor Vikki Bauer on Tuesday.
“There are no grouse because there are already so many power poles out there (the site is right beside a power line) filled with birds of prey,” she said, noting birds like eagles are the sage grouse’s primary enemy.
Once the study is done and the approval is in place, the tower is expected to be constructed this summer, with full service available of September.