Church may get more cellular panel antennas

Three more cellular panel antennas are proposed to be added to the steeple of a San Francisco Methodist church where already there are nine.

T-Mobile hopes to install the panels if the plan makes it through The City’s approval process this fall.

The antennas, which are about 20 inches wide and 51 inches tall, would be invisible once installed, said Kate Connor, a city planner. Nine antennas belonging to Sprint and Cingular are on the church steeple, Connor said.

There are already more than 2,400 antennas in The City, according to a 2000 study by the San Francisco Neighborhood Antenna Free Union, a cause for alarm among residents concerned with possible health issues related to the antennas.

Neurological side effects of chronic exposure to microwave radiation exposure can result in neurological disorders, tumors or cancer, said Nancy Evans, a health science consultant with the Breast Cancer Fund.

Still, others aren’t worried about what impacts the three antennas would have at Temple United Methodist Church on the 1100 block of Junipero Serra Boulevard.

“I feel comfortable with them,” said Donna Decker, the office administrator at Temple United. “People run around with cell phones in their ears all the time” and then complain about the antennas.

T-Mobile media relations officers could not be reached Tuesday or Wednesday to discuss the matter. Pastor Schuyler Rhodes of Temple United was also unreachable.

The matter is scheduled for discussion during a Planning Commission meeting next month. In San Francisco, cell phone towers may not be installed on residential buildings. To install a tower, an applicant must have a public hearing before the Planning Commission. City Planner Kate Connor tasked with the matter could not be reached Tuesday.

Doug Loranger, a spokesman for San Francisco Neighborhood Antenna-Free Union, said many times neighbors are not aware that antennas are going up in their

neighborhood.

“That’s part of the problem,” Lorangersaid. “They get junk mail and don’t put two and two together.”

mcarroll@examiner.com

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