SNAFU seeks to change the process by which wireless antennas are sited, constructed and
modified in the City and County of San Francisco and to ensure the fullest possible public
participation in this process.
SNAFU supports community-based, local democratic control over
land use, zoning and health, safety & environmental decisions as the best manner in which to
approach antenna siting in San Francisco. SNAFU's position is that antennas – of which there
are now at least 2,500 in the City – should be subjected to full regulation under environmental
protection laws and with full regard for the public’s health and safety according to the latest,
independent scientific research.
Action - SNAFU works to achieve this mission in four primary ways:
- On a Neighborhood-by-Neighborhood, Case-by-Case Basis.
When wireless carriers attempt to place wireless facilities on or near residences, schools, health care centers
and other areas where land use, zoning, and health, safety & environmental concerns arise, SNAFU provides
assistance to local residents in their work to resist these antennas.
- At the City Government level.
Many neighborhood antenna battles have been fought – and residents’ time, money and resources
expended – because the City and County of San Francisco has failed to exercise its full legal
authority over antenna siting granted under Federal Appeals Court interpretations of the
Telecommunication Act of 1996. SNAFU attends public hearings, meets with individual Supervisors
and other elected officials and City staff, and drafts and advocates concrete proposed changes
to City antenna-siting policy based upon the latest information and developments in law, science,
- At the State and Federal Government levels.
SNAFU works in concert with other similar grass-roots and non-profit organizations throughout California
and across the United States to further its agenda in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. This includes
repeal of Section 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which preempts local governments from
considering health & environmental effects of radio frequency (RF) radiation in the placement, construction
and modification of wireless antenna facilities. Senator Leahy of Vermont has drafted such legislation, which
includes provisions for the U.S. Congress to fully fund genuinely independent, scientific research in this area.
SNAFU supports the immediate introduction and passage of this legislation.
- At the Global level.
SNAFU shares information with scientists, engineers, public policy officials, and others from around
the world with a common concern about the impacts the wireless revolution are having on our health,
safety and environment and local, democratic processes of decision-making and control.
- An immediate, one-year moratorium on all new cellular and PCS antennas in the City and County of San Francisco.
Numerous municipalities have adopted moratoria in the years since the Telecommunications Act of 1996
and the wireless industry itself has signed a 1998 agreement with the FCC stating moratoria are
appropriate when a local government needs time to revise its antenna-siting guidelines.
- A comprehensive re-writing of the City’s 1996 Wireless Telecommunications Services (WTS) Facilities Siting Guidelines.
SNAFU advocates rewriting the guidelines so that schools, hospitals, health centers, and places of
worship are moved from 'Preference 1' (most preferred) locations to 'Preference 7' (disfavored)
locations based upon the standard land use legal concepts of 'attractive nuisance' and 'forseeabiliy.'
SNAFU also proposes that independent experts be retained by the City to evaluate each wireless carrier
applicant's claims that a particular antenna is necessary to provide wireless services to the City & County
of San Francisco. Wireless carriers should be required to document their existing networks in their
entirety, so that an accurate determination of claims of the need for additional antennas by wireless
carriers can be fairly and objectively evaluated by the City. SNAFU also objects to antennas being placed on light and utility
poles in public rights-of-way in residential districts and other sensitive locations in the City.
- Independent scientific measurement and monitoring of cumulative radio frequency (RF) radiation emission levels in the
City and County of San Francisco.
SNAFU believes that the City should hire truly independent, third-party experts in the modeling and measurement of RF
radiation, paid for by the industry, to assess the cumulative RF radiation levels in San Francisco. These experts should
also form part of a systematic monitoring process for each and every antenna site in the City and County of San Francisco.