AT&T is in process of applying for cell towers at the following locations:
- Parking lot at Baillios (across the street from Vitamin Cottage)
- on the roof of Quail Run Clubhouse, 3101 Old Pecos Trail
- at Saint John’s College, 20 feet from the Lower Dorm
- on the roof of Hotel Santa Fe
- at Burger King at the corner of St. Francis and Alameda, in the Dumpster area next to the gas station
- a co-location on a Qwest tower on City-owned land (I am unaware of the location)
- additional antennas on the Marcy Street tower
- Next to Capital High School, at 4851 Paseo Del Sol — already approved
- St. John’s Methodist Church (approved last year but under litigation)
- 2706 Senda Jarosa
- atop the PERA Building
- at the Agua Fria Fire Station
- Route 599 and North Saint Francis Drive
- Tano Road and US 84/285
Please contact Arthur at (505) 471-0129 if you live in the neighborhood of one of these locations and would like to get involved in fighting these proposals.
Saint John’s Methodist Church
This AT&T tower, concealed in a false chimney, is in operation. It was turned on on September 22, 2012, with disastrous consequences for the neighborhood. At least one person has already had to leave their home, and several others are seriously ill and looking for new homes. What used to be a small chimney now looks like this:
Hotel Santa Fe
To passersby, it looks like the hotel is building a fourth story. But it is really a façade for antennas: AT&T is installing a cell tower on the roof of the penthouse, whose walls will be extended upwards another nine feet to hide it. The hotel’s spa and fitness center are on the second and third floor, just twenty feet away from where the nine antennas will be installed.
The hotel is owned by the Picuris Pueblo.
This project is under appeal in New Mexico District Court, but construction continues and is expected to be completed by the end of March, 2013.
Marcy Street Tower
AT&T’s application for replacement antennas at the 142-foot height, and a new tier of antennas at the 77-foot height, plus structural reinforcement of the tower to bear the additional weight, was approved on the fall of 2012, but the permits have not yet been issued. One problem holding up the project is the fact that the ugly 195-foot tower is itself not legal under current city ordinances. It is grandfathered in because it was built before current height and zoning restrictions were adopted, and normally grandfathered “nonconforming” structures cannot be added onto.
On March 27, 2013 the Santa Fe City Council will consider adopting a new ordinance, drafted specifically for AT&T, that will define each antenna as a separate “structure.” This will enable the new antennas to be considered “new” towers — a legal fiction that will allow AT&T to add onto the existing tower despite the fact that it is a grandfathered structure.
A new 75-foot monopole at this site, across the street from Vitamin Cottage, went into operation early this year.
Capital High School
A new 100-foot-tall fake pine tree, adjacent to both Capital High School’s football field and its day care center, is also up and running.
This project will require a public hearing because AT&T is applying for a height exemption, and also because it is a new tower in a historic district. An Early Neighborhood Notification Meeting, held May 21, 2012, was packed with neighborhood people opposing this project. At this writing, no public hearing has yet been scheduled.
Quail Run Clubhouse
This was originally planned as a 28-foot tower, but the Quail Run management decided that would be an eyesore, and so invited AT&T to put hidden antennas on the Commons Building instead. Unfortunately, the Commons Building doesn’t just house Quail Run’s administration. It also has a library, gym, spa, restaurant, and other facilities on the first floor. And on the second floor, directly beneath the planned antennas, are condos where residents live. This tower has been defeated. Due to opposition from Quail Run residents, the Quail Run board has voted not to sign a contract with AT&T.