AT&T backs down on Utility boxes
AT&T has backed down on their plan to install 850 large utility vaults throughout the city. As reported back on July 15th, there was a supervisors meeting on July 29th, and several neighborhoods organized a significant opposition and showed during this Supes meeting. The following report from one of my neighbors who was there:
The hearing was yesterday afternoon — it went more than three hours. Many friends and neighbors showed up to testify on our behalf. (Individuals, San Francisco Beautiful, Coalition for SF Neighbors, and neighborhood organizations from Pacific Heights and Telegraph Hill to Potrero, Buena Vista and the Western Addition) When it was clear that the Board was leaning towards a motion to return the issue to SF planning for environmental review (a likely result even when there was a motion to continue for a month — since their was agreement that it was very unlikely that ATT could make any changes in that short period), Supervisor Peskin persisted in asking if AT&T would therefore like to withdraw their application.
After asking for the 3rd time, the lawyer testifying on behalf of AT&T asked to confer with her client. Obviously one of the AT&T people was senior enough to make such a decision and agreed that the company would withdraw it’s application !!!
This means that all ATT/DPW activity is stopped — no excavation permits for previously approved locations, no DPW review of requested locations, no accepting new ATT requests. ATT will have to submit a new application and will undergo a focused environmental review (for example, the EIR probably does not have to discuss impact on water quality !!!)
ATT has said they want to make this work — although they could threaten to put San Francisco at the bottom of the list for the technology upgrades. We have won the battle, but have not won the war. We will to stay in touch with you as AT&T develops its next stage plan.