North potomac

ZTA 18-11 creates two unequal methods of cell pole approvals that discriminates against older (legacy) neighborhoods with above ground utilities:

  • allows “small cell" wireless facilities on taller utility poles and steel street lights in legacy neighborhoods with above groundutilities to be installed just 30 feet from a house under "limited use" rules that require no public notice, nopublic input and restricted rights of appeal. [1]
  • allows small cells on existing shorter lamp posts and other poles (such as signs) in neighborhoods with underground utilities that are just 30 feet from a house under "conditional use" rules. Those rules require some public notice and some public input. (But, most neighborhoods with underground utilities have large utility poles on perimeters that are subject to laissez faire "limited use" rules described above. So, every neighborhood is adversely impacted by ZTA 18-11.)

​Learn more about ZTA 18-11 and find list of Council member email addresses here.

The full Council will vote on bill on or before Tuesday, October 30, 2018.  So please contact your Council members today!! 


  • It is essential that Council members see and hear opposition from residents, and not the lobbyists from BIG WIRELESS. 
  • Your communication to Council members will be critical if we are to save protections for residential neighborhoods.  
    • (ZTA 18-11 is Big Wireless' second attempt this year to ram through resident-unfriendly zoning rules. The first bill which radically eliminated protections in commercial, industrial and mixed use zones sailed through the Council in May, 2018.)
  • Now, the County Executive is trying, once again, to get the Council's approval to allow Big Wireless unfettered access to install tall, bulky and obtrusive cell poles inside residential neighborboods!

If passed, ZTA 18-11 will:

  • depress home values
  • create public safety hazards
  • diminish the aesthetic character of our neighborhoods!

County ordinances and procedures up to now have not required inspection of cell tower installations. If a cell tower is a hazard there are only vague administrative rules to get cell poles inspected, de-certified or removed. And, those rules are almost NEVER enforced by the County!

 Let us know if you have questions. Our email address is:   

There is very little time.

We need you to contact Council members now and express your opposition to this bad ordinance!

ZTA 18-11 strips out protections for residents and makes it much easier and faster for obtrusive cell towers to be installed in our residential neighborhoods. 

We sincerely appreciate your support.  Please add your name to our mailing list here.
1] The technical zoning term for allowing this type of installation with no community notice is “limited use.”

Revised: October 12, 2018

This massive 57' cell pole installed in 2017 sits just 27' away from a four-story apartment block in Langley Park. It is one of three large cell poles within 900' radius that are placed very near apartments. Current County ordinance requires 60' setbacks from single and duplex residential units, but has just 10' minimum setbacks for cell poles installed on utility poles near apartment buildings. 


Last revised: March 6, 2018

Judith Monroy in her front yard Santa Rosa, CA in January, 2018 with new ground-mounted equipment cabinet, radios bolted to utility pole plus antennas on top (not visible in photo.)  Read thefull story here.

This 68' wireless facility with antennas on Brickyard Road was NEVER formally approved to be here. Read the story (see page 15) on how on the County allowed this and four other cellpoles in Potomac to be  moved to "adjacent sites" in 2011 without public notice or public input.

Langley Park

Council decision on ZTA 18-11 expected in October!


MC4T is fighting for fair, transparent and accurate regulation of cell poles and cell towers to minimize adverse impacts to surrounding land uses, respect the harmony and aesthetic character of our communities, and protect the the safety of all residents. Join us!

This cell pole installed in 2011 along  Norbeck Road was supposed to be on opposite side of street within the utility distribution lines, but was moved. It is one of three cell poles in Norbeck area north of the ICC that were NEVER formally approved for their current sites. 

This is what happens when wireless providers are allowed to install cell poles just 30 feet from residences with NO design requirements to minimize aesthetic impacts.  County Council is now considering ZTA 18-11 that make EXACTLY this type of facility legal inside residential neighborhoods in Montgomery County with NO notice prior to installation.

Every cell pole has a story

The cell pole at right above was one of three installed in 2016 in North Potomac without first completing required conditional use hearings. 

Montgomery County Coalition for the Control of Cell Towers