Wireless Facilities Updates

The FCC "Small Cell" Order

Public Meeting Schedule:


The Town would like to thank the community for participating in legislative updates to the Town's wireless communications facilities (WCF) regulations. While the timeline was tight to adopt local regulations by January 14th, when new FCC rules regarding small cell installations go into effect, the Town was able to receive valuable input from residents through a variety of modalities, which truly shaped the final decisions. 

The City Council (1) adopted an urgency ordinance due to the tight time line, (2) introduced a regular ordinance which would extend the regulations upon expiration of the urgency ordinance, and (3) adopted a resolution. The ordinances were created to accommodate new processing requirements, and the resolution was adopted to regulate location and design standards for WCFs and other utility infrastructure. The benefit of incorporating location and design standards into a resolution is that resolutions may become effective immediately upon adoption whereas an ordinance may take up to 90 days to become effective. By having the location and design standards in a resolution, changes can be made more efficiently.

Click here to view the adopted urgency ordinance and resolution.

Additional Community Meetings in the spring are currently being planned.  Dates, times, and locations are to be determined.

Completed Meetings:

January 14th - City Council Meeting
PDF copies of the ordinances and resolution will be posted the week of January 21st.
Click here to view the City Council Agenda Items (#8 and #9)
[PDF reader required, 36MB]

January 7th - Study Session
Community Engagement Presentation
Ordinance and Resolution Summary Presentation

December 13th - Community Meeting #2
PowerPoint Presentation [2MB, PDF Format]
Wireless Community Meeting #2 Report

Station Documents:
Station #1 Poster - FCC Ruling Update and Town Timeline
Station #1 Handout - FCC Stay

Station #2 Poster - Aesthetic/Wireless Safety Regulations
Station #2 Handout - Introduction to Utility Poles
Station #2 Handout - Recent Orders and Relevant Case Law

Station #3 Poster - What is a Small Cell?

November 28th - Community Meeting #1
PowerPoint Presentation [12MB, PDF Format]
Wireless Community Meeting Report

November 20th - Joint CCAC and WCAC Meeting

November 13th - City Council Informational Update
PowerPoint Presentation [12 MB, PDF format]

November 7th – Wireless Communications Advisory Committee

Summary of FCC Order

Full FCC Order

Opposition to S. 3157

Opposition Letter to California Senators

View the letter (PDF)

Proposed Crown Castle Wireless Facilities Application Information

Crown Castle Lawsuit

View the lawsuit (PDF)

Update on the Appeal Process Regarding Wireless Communications Facilities

Resolution Denying Wireless Permit Applications Appeal

In a 5-0 vote, the City Council adopted a Resolution denying Crown Castle's appeal regarding 16 wireless facilities permit applications. The Resolution upheld the City Manager's decision, with modification, issued on December 20, 2017.

Agenda Staff Report


The City Council held a public hearing for the appeal by Crown Castle regarding the City Manager's decision on the 16 wireless communications facilities (WCF) applications. Representatives from Crown Castle gave a presentation and about 30 residents addressed the Council at the public hearing.

After the public hearing was closed, the City Council deliberated and direction was given to staff to prepare written finding(s) referencing substantial evidence in the Town's written administrative record for adoption as final action at the Council's next meeting. A Regular Meeting will be held on March 26th at 6:00pm in the Town Hall Council Chambers (1600 Floribunda Avenue) where the City Council will make a final decision on the appeal.


Crown Castle is appealing the decision of the Hillsborough City Manager to deny its wireless communications permit applications. The appeal hearing has been set for the March 12, 2018 City Council meeting.

Notice of Public Hearing: Appeal of City Manager's Decision on 16 Wireless Permit Applications (PDF)

The record is available via DropBox

City Council Public Hearing agenda item

Crown Castle's Appeal of City Manager's Decision

Crown Castle: Letter to Mayor and City Council regarding the appeal of the City Manager's denial of 16 small cell communications facilities (PDF)

Crown Castle: APPEAL of City Manager Decision on 16 Pending Applications for Wireless Communications Facilities Permits pursuant to Town of Hillsborough Municipal Code Section 15.32.090 (PDF)

Supplement to City Attorney Memorandum (Crown Castle Appeal) (PDF)

Summary of City Manager’s December 20th Decision on 16 Crown Castle WCF Applications

The City Manager hereby determines that no action can be taken on the applications at this time because under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Town, as a responsible agency with regard to the DAS project, cannot lawfully issue any discretionary decision before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), as the lead agency for this DAS project, takes action, and the Applicant has failed to provide any proof that the CPUC has made a CEQA determination for this DAS project, or that Applicant has even made the necessary filings with respect to CEQA.

In the alternative, if the Town must take action on the 16 applications taking into account legal deadlines affecting the Town’s consideration of the applications, the City Manager hereby disapproves all 16 wireless applications pursuant to Section 15.32.080.B.3. on the grounds that the Applicant, by failing to provide evidence that it has applied for, or that the CPUC has made a CEQA determination with respect to the DAS project, has not provided to the Town all of the required information required by Chapter 15.32 to permit the City Manager to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the 16 applications.

In addition, to the extent that the Applicant is arguing that federal telecommunications law preempts CEQA and the Town must act, the City Manager denies all 16 wireless applications based on the findings set forth in the decision.

While this action constitutes the decision of the City Manager that is subject to appeal to the City Council, and is being distributed in hard copy to the applicant and each person submitting comments on the application, the City Manager also released a document that is being posted on the Town’s website along with this decision on December 21, 2017 that references substantial evidence in the record in support of the findings in this decision. Hard copies of that document will also be available at Town Hall. The record is available via DropBox.

City Manager's Decision Letter (December 20, 2017) (PDF)

Discussion of Bases for Part V of City Manager's Decision (PDF)

Previous Updates:

At the City Council meeting on November 13th, numerous residents made comments regarding the pending Crown Castle applications. The Town does not want Town residents to feel that this process is proceeding without public input. We encourage Town residents to continue to reach out to share their comments on the applications with the City Manager. The Town welcomes all input from the public in this process and they will be considered in this decision-making process.

A community meeting was held on December 7, 2017 to provide information and take public input regarding 16 Crown Castle applications to place wireless communications facilities (WCFs) in the Town’s public rights-of-way. Crown Castle representatives knowledgeable about the applications were present at the meeting to answer questions.

A brief description and plan sets of the proposed WCFs can be viewed on the chart at the bottom of this page. The applications and plans are also available at Town Hall during regular business hours.

Written comments about these WCF applications should be addressed to the City Manager and must be received by Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 at 5:30 pm.

The Town of Hillsborough regulates the placement of WCFs under Chapter 15.32 of the Municipal Code. The City Manager is generally responsible for reviewing and acting on all WCF permit applications. The Public Works Department is generally designated to be lead reviewer for applications for placement of WCFs in the public right-of-way.

On or about Oct. 31, Public Notices of Proposed Action by the City Manager for each of the 16 applications were mailed to the owners of real property within 500 feet of each proposed WCF location. Revised Public Notices dated Nov. 3 correcting errors in the description of the proposed WCFs at some locations were mailed Nov. 7 to affected property owners. The Public Notice invited comments to be provided to the City Manager. The project plans for each of the 16 WCFs were made available for review at Town Hall during normal business hours. The Public Notices indicated that action would be taken on or about Nov. 16 and described the action proposed for each of the 16 applications as an approval.

The date for action by the City Manager has been extended by mutual agreement with the applicant. The City Manager will take action on the applications on or about Dec. 21, 2017. 

A brief description of the proposed WCFs is presented in the table below. The applications and plans are available by selecting the hyperlinked permit number below.

If you have any questions for the Town, please call the Public Works Office at (650) 375-7444, or email the Public Works Department.

Node ID
Permit Number
Location / Nearest Address
Pole Type
Equipment Location
Top of Canister Antenna
Plan Set Dated
H01 ENC17-0013 (PDF) Adjacent to 1455 Marlborough
New Replacement Wood Pole
On the Pole
54'3" 8/29/17
H02 ENC17-0014 (PDF) Adjacent to 1230 San Raymundo Rd.
New Replacement Wood Pole
On the Ground
54'3" 8/29/17
H05 ENC17-0026  (PDF) Adjacent to 720 Chateau Dr.
New Steel Monopole
On the Ground
35' 9/8/17
H07 ENC17-0025  (PDF) Across from 2812 Easton Dr.
Use Existing Wood Pole
On the Pole
45'3" 8/31/17
H08 ENC17-0021  (PDF) Across from 2400 Skyfarm Dr.
New Steel Monopole
On the Ground
35' 8/29/17
H12 ENC17-0028  (PDF) Across from 510 Eucalyptus
New Steel Monopole
On the Ground
35' 10/16/17
H19 ENC17-0023  (PDF) Adjacent to 1335 Hayne Rd.
New Steel Monopole
On the Ground
35' 8/29/17
H20 ENC17-0024  (PDF) Adjacent to 1204 Kenilworth Rd.
New Replacement Wood Pole
On the Ground
54'9" 8/17/17
H21 ENC17-0018  (PDF) Adjacent to 620 El Cerrito
Use Existing Wood Pole
On the Pole
39' 8/8/17
ENC17-0019  (PDF) Across from 260 Woodbridge
New Replacement Wood Pole
On the Pole
54'5" 9/7/17
H27 ENC17-0020  (PDF) Across from 1585 Black Mountain Rd.
New Added Wood Pole
On the Pole
45'4" 10/16/17
H28 ENC17-0015 (PDF) Between 1090 and 1110 Hayne Rd.
New Steel Monopole
On the Ground
35' 8/10/17
H29 ENC17-0016  (PDF) Adjacent to 2795 Churchill Dr.
New Steel Monopole
Equip Pole / Power Ground
35' 10/20/17
H30 ENC17-0017  (PDF) Adjacent to 105 Bella Vista
New Replacement Wood Pole
On the Pole
54'3" 8/10/17
H31 ENC17-0022  (PDF) Adjacent to 3465 Ralston Ave.
New Steel Monopole
On the Ground
35' 8/10/17
H32 ENC17-0027  (PDF) Adjacent 920 Chiltern Ave.
Use Existing Wood Pole
On the Pole
34'8" 8/11/17

To view additional location specific project files, visit our permit portal and enter the permit number (ex: ENC17-0013) listed in the table above in the search box and select search. Then select the permit number. Please note the address is listed as 1320 La Honda Rd for internal tracking purposes.