Cell Phone Tower Going Up on Newport Avenue?

by on September 20, 2013 · 8 comments

in Culture, Energy, Environment, Health, Ocean Beach

OB cellphon newprt antiqctr rftp

Rooftop of 4864 Newport Avenue – site of possible cellphone tower on Newport Avenue.

A potential new cell phone tower could be going up on the roof of the Newport Antique Center, at 4864 Newport Avenue.

OB cellphon newpt antiq frntCraig Gerwig, owner of the antique store between Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Cable Street, confirmed that he had plans to add the tower, but said no contracts were in place. A group of men were seen on the rooftop of the building late last week, presumably scoping out the site.

Gerwig refused to answer any questions about the possible addition to his business, but did say he had no concerns about any health issues that might arise from having a tower so close to a residential area.

The issue of cell phone towers in Ocean Beach came up earlier this year, when the Project Review Committee approved permit renewal for the tower on top of the Masonic Lodge at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. There are also a number of cell phone towers in churches in the neighborhood.

I spoke with Denny Knox, executive director of the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association, who assured me that her organization does not have anything to do with it. Denny’s reaction? Heh. Here’s what she said:

“I think it’s up to the original property owner. Honestly, it’s in a commercial district. I think most people don’t even know if there are cell phone towers near them. We’re sort of in a valley. There used to be a lot of places in OB where you couldn’t pick up a call. 

“I don’t think they’d put one in if they don’t need it. I say go for it.”

[Note: the site on the roof of of the Newport Antique Center of the possible cell phone tower appears to be within 100 feet of numerous other businesses as well as a few residences across the alley.]

Editor: As Matthew hears back from those he has called regarding this story, we’ll add to the commentary on the possible installation of the cell phone tower.

OB Newprt antiqCtr googmap

“A” marks the building at 4864 Newport Avenue, the Newport Antique Center, close to numerous businesses and a few residences. google map

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

editordude September 20, 2013 at 10:44 am

This article was updated at 10:42 a.m.


Debbie September 21, 2013 at 6:56 am

This building has great store front windows that could really display some of the fine antique furniture, lighting and trinkets that are in this store. It would be nice to see some attention given to window displays which might increase sales at the Antique Mall and make Newport more attractive to shoppers and visitors. A little effort can go a long way.

If window shopping is blase you won’t get shoppers. No shoppers, no renters, no renters no income, no income you have to ?????put up a cell tower maybe?

As for the cell tower….well if you use a cell phone I guess you can’t complain that there are cell towers?

I do commend Mr. Gerwig for having a bench outside his shop. Thanks!!!


Seth September 22, 2013 at 8:48 pm

The concerns over these towers are generally overstated, but I do worry about the cumulative impacts of many of them within a small area. To that extent, I wonder about the precedent being set here with a private business in a dense commercial district being allowed to have one.

Are all Newport businesses going to be allowed to have one, if market conditions allow for it? I felt better about it when it was a community organization like the Masonic Lodge being allowed to have one as an extra revenue stream.


obecean September 22, 2013 at 10:33 pm

“The concerns over these towers are generally overstated”

How do you know this? My mother used told me about the “duck and cover” drills they went through as school children. Evidently, nuclear fallout wasn’t well known by that time.

This another of man’s technological experiment with unknown and perhaps some known consequences that are continually downplayed. The facts aren’t all in as far as I can tell. Unless you can point out studies of long term studies of the effects of continuous microwave exposure, I don’t believe you can make your statement.


Seth September 23, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Well, I think the burden of proof here mostly goes the other way. Cell phone towers have been around for decades now, all over the world. Any evidence of cancer clusters associated with them? Haven’t heard that. Agree that we don’t know everything about the long-term impacts, but this is of more concern to me with regard to the cumulative effects of multiple towers in populated areas that are within a close proximity to one another.


Jamie September 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Stores like that one are the real blight of OB. Tax write offs….When is the last time any of you walked around that dusty east end of Newport? Looks like St. Petersburg, FL. LAME.


Hdiggler September 28, 2013 at 11:20 am

Cell service sucks in OB, I welcome our new cell tower overlords.


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