Updated at the bottom with a statement from Verizon and some additional background. First posted at 8:09 a.m.
It's a data-hungry world, and now we want it wherever we are. Thus cellphone companies have been on a quest to find new locations for its data towers. Not only that, but they've had to get creative with how the towers appear.
And so the “cellphone tree” — towers made to look more incognito — was born. See that vertical tree-like pole? Perfectly natural. There are palm tree cell phone towers and pine tree cell phone towers.
Verizon Wireless wants to put one of the latter in Glassell Park, but …
… some residents there aren't having it.
Interestingly, they're not opposed to a tower altogether. They seem to realize that if they have iPhones, they need towers.
Rather, they're pushing for something more creative than a pine tree. Ideas include a clock tower, fake flag poles, an angel atop a pole and even the kind of conical, pastel-lit sculptures seen at LAX disguised as cell phone towers.
So far, according to The Eastsider LA, Verizon is ramming its cellphone tree near the Glendale Freeway's San Fernando Road exit through City Hall.
We reached out to Verizon for comment but had yet to hear back.
Opponents have appealed the tree's latest city approval, however, and plan to fight on for something more … artistic.
Can you hear them now, Verizon?
[Update at 4:02 p.m.]: Verizon did hear them! Here's a statement that the company sent to the Weekly:
Verizon Wireless strives to be a good neighbor as we build greater network coverage and capacity for our local customers. We look forward to working with residents and the planning commission to find a solution acceptable to all.
Meanwhile, in other news:
It has come to our attention that some if not all the designs that some residents want might not be able to pass muster with city laws anyway. And so a planning commission last night sent the ideas back to the drawing board with the caveat that maybe the City Council think of a workaround or add a loophole to the rules that would allow one of these artsy tower ideas come to life.