Claremont Insider: The March of Progress

Friday, March 18, 2011

The March of Progress

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Claremont takes pride in its inclusiveness, particularly when it comes to involving the public in major municipal decisions. At least, that's the town's self-image. So imagine our surprise when we we took a look at the City's website this morning and saw a very brief blurb, really just two links to PDF files without any accompanying explanatory text, with the headline, Police Communications Tower 3-17-11.

[Since we wrote this post, the City has modified it with the sort of missing text we were talking about -ed.]

The two links connected to documents with plans and Photoshopped images for a proposed 174-foot tower which, with drum antennae studding the latticed tower, looking like a picked over croquembouche.

The police department wants to put the tower in against the north wall of the City Yard at 1616 Monte Vista Ave., directly across from the Claremont Club's entrance. Odd that we missed the publicly noticed meetings on the communications tower. It simply appeared without the usual fanfare city officials use to launch their projects. It's as if they wanted to slip this one in and see if anyone would notice.

The plans were listed on the City's initial studies page, so the project would have to at least be analyzed to see whether or not it would need an Environmental Impact Report. Given the tower's height and its proximity to Cable Airport's Runway 6, the FAA might have a say. If the tower interferes with the airport's traffic, we suggest the City put it on one of its other properties, like City Hall. After all, our town fathers and mothers wouldn't want to stand in the way of progress, and they would also want our police department to have the best communications possible.

It occurred to us that the tower plans would have to be reviewed by the Architectural Commission as well, and they might not like some of the future views:

TOP: View from the Claremont Club entrance
BOTTOM: View from Shenandoah Dr. facing southeast