Public Records

Read Records Allegedly Responsive to an Immediate Inspection of Records Request:

9/23/2020 Immediate Inspection of Records Request

>>> [Petaluma resident] wrote to Heather Hines on 9/23/2020 12:24 PM:

I am reasonably requesting a return call today on Sept 23, 2020 from the m-group with a substantive update on the Petaluma Creamery project, including copies emailed to me of all evidence of all communications between the m-group/Petaluma city staff to following parties:

  • The applicants of the Petaluma Creamery project (Complete Wireless, Verizon or others)
  • Any wireless consultants the m-group or the city staff has communicated with in the last eight weeks in any wireless matter (any project or any wireless ordinance changes being considered)
  • Any parties involved in getting substantial written evidence of Verizon wireless signal strength coverage or call records that can establish if a significant gap in telecommunications coverage exists in Petaluma in the three-mile radius surrounding the Petaluma Creamery.

>>> On Jun 5, 2020, at 12:27 PM, Bendix, Brittany wrote to Peggy Flynn:


Here are some notes:

  • Verizon held a virtual neighborhood meeting last night, with invites sent to all neighbors within 1,000 feet of the property. This is the first of required outreach on the project.
  • We’re moving forward with a 6/23 PC hearing for the installation and are subject to a tolling agreement that ends 9/1.
  • If we don’t review and approve the project by 9/1, it’s approved automatically per the FCC.
  • There’s no exception due to COVID from the FCC.
  • Staff Report materials were sent to Eric yesterday for review. Materials aren’t published until 6/16.
  • Included in the Muni Code requirements and Conditions of Approval is that the project has to conform to CUPA requirements. This is the issue with the Creamery, so the wireless permit effectively can’t move forward unless the Creamery gets into compliance.

I’ll call Shad [Cloney] to discuss further.


From: Bendix, Brittany
Sent: Friday, June 5, 2020 1:25 PM
To: Flynn, Peggy
Cc: Danly, Eric; Justin Shiu; Green, Jordan; Petnic, Gina; Power, Jessica; Hines, Heather

Subject: RE: PLEASE HELP! Verison Wireless tower Petaluma Creamery


I just discussed this on the phone with Eric and he confirmed that we are required to move forward.

Thank you, Brittany.

From: Flynn, Peggy
Sent: Friday, June 5, 2020 2:25 PM
To: City Council
Cc: Danly, Eric; Bendix, Brittany; Thompson, Leonard; Power, Jessica; Petnic, Gina; Hughes, Doug

Subject: Verizon Wireless tower Petaluma Creamery

Dear Mayor and Councilmembers —

Apparently, Petaluma Creamery is looking to install a Verizon wireless tower on their facility.

The project is subject to the FCC’s shot clock standards for local review meaning that cities must act on proposed new installations, which is the case at this site, within 150 days. The only way to extend that timeframe is through a tolling agreement, which both parties must agree to. Because of COVID, we’re currently in a tolling agreement period with Verizon that goes through September 1.

This requires us to move forward with the PC in June and bring the item, if an appealed is filed, to the City Council in August.

Once entitled, the telecommunications facility is then subject to Building Permit review, where per the conditions of approval it must demonstrate compliance with Building and Fire standards, especially as they relate to CUPA, which is a standard requirement for these facilities. As the Creamery is still not in compliance and probably won’t be for a while, we will not issue a building permit. Additionally, as there are outstanding financial penalties that need to be resolved prior to issuance of the permit, we will include that into the conditions of approval as well.

On another note, we met with the Creamery owner and reps this week to discuss the replacement of their aging cooling system which uses ammonia rather than freon. Per the Creamery, they want to replace but the cost is prohibitive (~$900k). We are working with them to find a way for them to upgrade their system asap — especially given the potential risk for an ammonia leak. This may mean negotiating their outstanding wastewater fines with the commitment to upgrade the system. The alternative is to shut them down which would probably close the business indefinitely.

Staff will be reaching out to the resident who reached out to the Mayor (see email chain below) and will prepare a letter to the residents who will receive the public notice regarding the proposed tower. Once I have spoken with staff on next steps, I will update you.

Thank you, Peggy

From: Healy, Mike
Sent: Friday, June 5, 2020 2:47 PM
To: Flynn, Peggy
Cc: Danly, Eric

Subject: Re: Verizon Wireless tower Petaluma Creamery

Is this a 5G facility of the type the City banned near residential uses, or the older, more traditional type?

Thanks, Mike

From: Flynn, Peggy
Sent: Sunday, June 7, 2020 11:14 AM
To: Healy, Mike
Cc: Danly, Eric; Bendix, Brittany

Subject: RE: Verizon Wireless tower Petaluma Creamery

I don’t know — am assuming not 5G. Will confirm with staff.

Peggy Flynn, City Manager City of Petaluma
11 English Street, Petaluma, CA 94952
Direct 707.776.3765 | Office 707.778.4345

From: Bendix, Brittany
Sent: Monday, June 8, 2020 7:44:46 AM
To: Flynn, Peggy;
Healy, Mike
Cc: Danly, Eric

Subject: Re: Verizon Wireless tower Petaluma Creamery

Good morning! It’s not 5G. It’s a 4G site and similar to what’s been processed in the past.


From: Healy, Mike
Sent: Monday, June 8, 2020 7:50 AM
To: Bendix, Brittany

Subject: Re: Verizon Wireless tower Petaluma Creamery

Thanks for that. One of the neighbors believes he heard at a virtual meeting that the proposal is compatible with and would support 5G – does that sound right?


From: Bendix, Brittany
Sent: Monday, June 8, 2020 5:29 PM
To: Healy, Mike

Subject: RE: Verizon Wireless tower Petaluma Creamery

That didn’t sound right to me, I was at the meeting and thought I heard the opposite. I was able to confirm with the applicant this afternoon that the equipment for 5G v. 4G is different.

To that end, I’ve advised her that this will be an important question raised at the PC (and potentially CC) hearing. It’s important that the distinction is clear and that the engineers that are there to speak make it clear that going from 4G to 5G isn’t just turning a switch. It’s different equipment and would require a new application.