Dewey Beach passes ordinance to regulate 5G pole design standards


DEWEY BEACH, Del. – Dewey Beach residents and town leaders say 5G poles being installed along the beach are an unwanted eye sore. “They claim they have to be right at the entrance to the beach, and it just looks absolutely horrible. It’s right in the way of everything, and we have two companies that are putting them in now. What happens when the three other national companies come in and say they want to put the poles in also?” said Mayor Dale Cooke.

Mayor Cooke says that’s why the town passed an ordinance Tuesday that would set design standards for any future poles. The ordinance requires poles to be at least 50 feet from beach entrances, and new structures must be 100 feet from each other. Plus, wireless companies should first consider installing new equipment on existing utility or light poles.

Mayor Cooke says the town is required by state and federal regulations to allow the poles, so they have no other choice. “We don’t think we need or want this. We don’t believe that there’s enough service that will make it a viable option to force it onto a town. We don’t have a lot of say in the matter but we’re hoping that something will come across the lines,” said Mayor Cooke.

The Delaware Department of Transportation approves requests for the poles made by telecommunications companies. Mayor Cooke says DelDOT has been very cooperative with the town in trying to help resolve this issue, even if there aren’t very many options. “But basically they’re telling us they didn’t have a choice in the matter. The law was passed by the Delaware legislature to follow the federal rules,” said Mayor Cooke.

The mayor tells 47ABC he’s also concerned about any possible health effects the 5G poles could have on residents. “Nobody, other than technicians or people who built the system understands what health hazards there may be. I don’t pretend to understand, so I can’t say yes or no when somebody says there’s rays coming out of the boxes,” said Mayor Cooke.

Plus, Mayor Cooke adds that he worries about the impact on tourism the poles could have. “There’s only a few weekends that we have the largest crowds in town. For the sake of a few weekends, we’re getting forced into this situation where we have to have these ugly poles with this ugly equipment,” said Mayor Cooke.

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