An "epidemic" of cellphone antennas sprouted overnight on the roofs of at least five private apartment buildings in central Ra'anana last week, much to the bemusement of the city and residents, reports the Hebrew weekly Ha'ir-Tzomet Hasharon. The "outbreak" came after the city lost a court case against the cellphone companies last month.
According to the report, residents in Akiva, Hayovel, Kazan, Keren Hayesod and Alexandroni streets - all in central Ra'anana - were surprised to discover that cellphone antennas had sprouted overnight on the roofs of buildings in their streets, without any notification. They complained to the municipality, which was equally surprised and sent an engineer to photograph the offending antennas. The city also sent a letter to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, which issues the permits for antennas, requesting it to stop issuing permits without notifying the city.
Last month, the city went to court against the cellphone companies but lost, with a judge deciding that the companies "meet the demands of the law." The city is planning an appeal, but the companies apparently decided to act to install the antennas before it goes ahead. In the meantime, the city is urging residents to pressure their neighbors not to allow their roofs to be rented by cellphone companies. Such pressure has already proven effective in several cases. And in others, the ministry has canceled antenna licenses because of neighbors' objections.
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