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California APA Opposition to SB649: “Small Cell” Wireless Infrastructure Permitting

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

California APA is asking for your help!

A new bill is making its way through the process that would limit the ability of local agencies to review and permit “small cell” wireless facilities. The bill was amended Wednesday morning (Click here) and will be heard in Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee next Tuesday, April 4th.

Senate Bill 649, by Senator Hueso, would:

  1. permit the use installation of a “small cell” without a city or county discretionary permit, thereby eliminating CEQA review, and would preclude consideration of aesthetics, design and nuisance impacts.

  2. require that the small cell only be subject to a building permit or administrative permit.

  3. require small cells to be permitted in all zones.

  4. require a permit with a duration of less than 10 years to be renewed for an equivalent duration unless the city or county makes a finding that the wireless telecommunications facility does not comply with the codes and permit conditions applicable at the time the permit was initially approved.

  5. require cities and counties to make city/county owned facilities available for the installation of a small cell(s), precluding cities/counties from leasing or licensing publicly owned property.


1. Send a letter to the author and the committee staff: In preparation for the likelihood that it will pass that committee, please also send a copy to the Senate Governance & Finance Committee staff, where the bill will be heard next:

2. Send a copy of the letter to your local Senator and Assembly Member and one to Lauren de Valencia y Sanchez, APA California Executive Assistant/Lobbyist.

3. If you have processed this type of permit, please reach out to Lauren regarding how long it took, if there were any issues with the process and any other details that would be helpful to provide to committee members.


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