VP, Fellow Preservation Organizations, and NYS Push Back on 5G Towers Plan and Process

After a hard-fought effort by preservation organizations, the city’s plan to construct hundreds of 32-ft.-tall 5G towers on city streets in neighborhoods in all five boroughs has been subjected to the required historic preservation impact review, and Village Preservation, among other groups, have been granted “consulting party” status to offer input on the plan. VP has been a harsh critic of the plan and process, which involves clumping multiple towers in certain areas without any apparent logic or rationale, in spite of their impact upon historic resources. Though purported to help bridge the “digital divide” and ensure equitable 5G access for all, many of the proposed towers are located in well-resourced neighborhoods with extensive 5G coverage already, and therefore seem designed to serve other purposes, such as generating revenue or capturing data.

The city and its franchisee have not helped, as they have consistently failed to provide adequate information about the proposal, the location of planned installations, timing, and the parameters of the process. It seems almost designed to prevent public knowledge and understanding of what is being proposed, and how to offer input about it for consideration.

In response, VP and our fellow preservation organizations have written to the federal agencies in charge of the historic preservation review process to point out the many serious flaws in how it is being conducted, and to call for a pause in the process or an extension of the deadline until these concerns can be addressed — read our letter HERE. We have also been meeting and discussing these issues with the NYS Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and we are pleased to report that they share many of these concerns. The SHPO has in fact also written to the federal government similarly asking for a pause or delay in the process until these concerns can be addressed — read their letter HERE.

For more information on the 5G tower plans, click here. To tell city officials that you oppose the siting of unnecessary and oversized 5G towers in our neighborhoods, click here

July 11, 2023