San Bruno man takes on T-Mobile over cell tower 

A San Bruno man plans to stage a peaceful protest against attempts to install a cellphone tower near his home — even at the risk of being arrested.

Eric Beeghly’s mission is simple — to protect his 1-year-old daughter Elizabeth from potentially harmful radio frequency radiation. His plan involves standing directly across the street from his home, where T-Mobile plans to install a transmitter atop a utility pole, along with an equipment shed, at 413 Maple Ave. 

Beeghly has collected nearly 300 signatures on a petition protesting the construction, including one from the principal of nearby Parkside Intermediate School. By making a peaceful stand, he hopes the wireless provider will “back down.” If not, he has no problem going to jail.

“We are willing to be arrested if T-Mobile chooses to do this,” Beeghly said.

Despite the planning commission’s approval of the tower and shed last November, the company has yet to decide when the project will break ground, T-Mobile spokesman Rod De La Rosa said. The tower is intended to boost in-building cellphone coverage in the area.

De La Rosa said the transmitters’ radio frequency is lower than household devices such as baby monitors and wireless routers, with radio frequency emissions well within Federal Communication Commission public exposure limits. He said the skyward tower antennas result in less than “1 percent of the allowable limit for continuous public exposure set by the FCC.”

“I’ve heard this before,” he said. “I know there is a lot of information out there. But I’m sympathetic and I do want to acknowledge that there is a debate.”

Beeghly plans to back up his claims by showing any police officers studies and reports. He hopes his actions will show that he’s “not some crazy guy.”

“We understand their concerns and we’re looking at the issue they’ve raised,” City Manager Connie Jackson said of the petition. Jackson added that T-Mobile met all the required parameters for approval of the transmitter, and she is unsure if the city can take any action.

This is T-Mobile’s second attempt to install a cellphone tower in the area. Last year, the planning commission shot down the company’s first request, citing aesthetic concerns.


Project details

- Located at 413 Maple Ave.
- Includes three panel antennas mounted on existing 38-foot, 4-inch public utility pole
- 6-foot, 2-inch extension to be attached to pole for total height of 48 feet, 11 inches
- Each antenna approximately 2 feet, 3 inches tall and 7 inches wide
- Antennas screened by a dome painted brown to match utility pole
- Equipment cabinet in rear yard of 413 Maple, screened by fence 4 feet high

Source: City of San Bruno

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