By Karen Billing
Rancho Santa Fe will get a boost in 4G LTE wireless coverage in the coming months as the RSF Association board April 3 approved a screening method for new cell antennas atop village rooftops. AT&T proposes to install two, 12-panel antenna arrays on two buildings owned by Susan Woolley on the southeast corner of La Flecha and Via de Santa Fe. The antennas will be concealed from view by a 5-foot parapet wall on the buildings.
“Once we turn on this site it will significantly improve coverage in the Covenant area,” said Jim Kennedy, a planner with AT&T.
The process for the new antennas was set in motion back in 2011. According to RSF Association Building Commissioner Robert Green, AT&T proposed several solutions to screen the antenna arrays — one being a penthouse atop the building that was not well received by the Covenant Design Review Committee (CDRC) or the neighboring condo association, Los Conchanillas. AT&T also proposed a tower but, through working with the CDRC, was able to come up with the more plain and simple plan of parapet walls around the tops of the buildings.
The parapets will match the color of the building and no equipment will be visible above the parapet. Kennedy said the parapet is designed to accommodate future growth and other carriers on the roof.
“I thank AT&T for working diligently with the CDRC and Mrs. Woolley for her patience in working through the process,” Green said.
Kennedy said they will next to go to the county for construction permits and hopefully compete the process in four months. He said AT&T is anxious to get the project going.
“You can’t put these up fast enough,” said RSF Association President Philip Wilkinson. “Cell service in this community is not very good.”