During the last few years, AT&T has been fighting to gain access to our sidewalks to install between 700 and 800 enormous utility boxes in the hopes of providing a cheap and easy means to offer faster internet and cable service to its customers.
San Francisco Beautiful, along with numerous neighborhood associations fought to prevent this from happening, insisting that an EIR (Environmental Impact Review) be provided.
The SF Board of Supervisors sided with AT&T in a 6 to 5 vote, doubting that AT&T should be required to provide one, and fearing that AT&T could sue the City of San Francisco had it insisted that AT&T provide the EIR.
After this vote, SF Beautiful, partnering with a few other neighborhood groups decided to sue the City of San Francisco for not requiring an EIR.
At this point, AT&T, hoping to gain as much ground as possible, applied for a few dozen permits to install boxes in the time before the case was heard. SF Beautiful’s attorney requested and the the judge issued an injunction preventing AT&T from going ahead with any of the installations.
And tomorrow - Thursday - is the hearing. Here’s an excerpt from a notice by SF Beautiful:
(Please excuse errors I may have made in term use - legalese is not my first language.)
To : SFB Board, Advisory Board, and Utility Box Neighborhood Coalition
Our case against the City's negative declaration for an EIR for AT&T's utility box installation will be held tomorrow at the California Superior Court, located at 400 McAllister Street, Room 503 at 1:30 PM, with Judge Teri Jackson presiding over the case.
No testimony will be heard from the public, but people are welcome to see our lawyer argue the merits of our case for an Environmental Review of AT&T's project. She has indicated that the tentative ruling does not forecast the Judge's thinking, and that parties will appear and argue their sides of the case. Since we are the only item on calendar for tomorrow, the arguments could last a few hours.
Thank you all for your countless hours of support during the hearings, letter-writing campaigns, and meetings at City Hall. We could not have done this without your unwavering support. Thank you for standing up for our neighborhoods and our City!
And - you never thought you’d live to see the day, but our speed radar sign on 17th Street was installed this afternoon! It’s just above 4353 17th Street. Hasn’t been turned on yet, but hopefully in our lifetimes..... This will complete the process that was begun in, I believe, in 2004 or 2005. Hopefully we’ll all be safer because of it!