5G Cell Phone Poles Removed From South Tulsa Neighborhood

Friday, July 1st 2022, 7:54 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

The City of Tulsa helped arrange the removal of new utility poles in a South Tulsa neighborhood, after homeowners complained they were too close, and in some cases, in front of their homes.

Four metal poles were placed in the Walnut Creek subdivision, near 81st and Harvard, intended to support 5G transmitters for updated cell service.

The poles were installed in February and removed this week.

The industry refers to them as “small cell” towers because they’re the height of a standard pole.

The technology requires them to be closer to the end user to support high speed access.

City Councilor Jeannie Cue helped the neighborhood voice their concerns at City Hall.

“It's not supposed to be put up in the front yard and look like a big old ugly pole,” she said.

Cue said state statutes limit the authority the City has to regulate the placement of the towers in existing right of way, but the City will encourage cell companies to put new poles in places with streetlights, and put the light on the same pole.

Several have already been placed near 61st and Peoria.

“We're going to make sure when they go up, they fit into the aesthetics of the neighborhood, that it doesn't interfere with the property, the view of the property, or the value of the property,” said Cue.

A City spokesman said the City reached an understanding with the utility company to remove the poles from Walnut Creek.

More than 300 have already been installed in Tulsa, according to the City permitting office.

Walnut Creek resident Shelli Landon, the leader of the opposition to the towers in her neighborhood, said they won't accept any 5G installation near their homes, even on different poles. She's worried the transmitters will impact health.

City Councilors Cue and Phil Lakin both are involved with other neighborhoods where poles are being installed to understand their concerns about the placement and design of the devices.