Verizon Wireless may install cellphone signal booster systems on existing street poles in Westwood Village.
Verizon originally planned to install five new 33-foot poles that would improve mobile coverage throughout the village, but the Westwood Neighborhood Council and the Westwood Community Design Review Board unanimously voted against Verizon’s proposals Jan. 11.
Council members said they thought new cellphone towers would decrease the Village’s visual appeal and requested the company install signal boosters on existing structures instead.
Verizon said they would like to install the signal boosters, but the city would not let them.
However, Sandy Brown, the council’s vice president, said she consulted with the Department of Public Works about whether or not the alternative plan would be possible. The department said there would not be an issue with implementing the council’s request, but added Verizon would have to pay rent to Los Angeles for using city property.
In its original proposals, Verizon planned to install the poles on Glendon Avenue, Westwood Boulevard, Weyburn Avenue, Wilshire Boulevard and Le Conte Avenue. The poles would have been disguised as street lamps.
Council President Lisa Chapman said she supports adding the signal boosters instead of building several poles, as long as the boosters are incorporated into existing structures.
“The poles (would be) very unattractive and make things look junky,” Chapman said. “They are not in keeping with what the Village looks like.”
Brown said she thinks that if Verizon built the signal poles, other wireless providers may want to install similar structures in the Village, which could impact Westwood’s appearance.
If Verizon agrees to install the boosters as per the council and design review board’s requests, it would be the first wireless communications service provider to pursue such a project in Westwood.