Plain and simple, the Federal Communications Commission which regulates cell phone and telephone systems throughout the US limits what a local government can do regarding the placement of these towers and dishes even though more and more residents are concerned about the possible health care risks associated with high frequency emissions.
The City of San Rafael has an ordinance, however, that does address these concerns by setting up a system that actually monitors and tests these wireless facilities every three years to determine if they are in compliance with federal standards concerning emission levels.
Couple that ordinance with the one adopted by the City of Palos Verdes which the courts upheld that limits these towers/facilities on the basis of their aesthetic impact, the City of Long Beach should be able to craft an ordinance that addresses both of these key issues.
I have been working with the City Attorney on this issue for some time because of the requests from wireless companies to place these towers in residential areas -- something the City of San Rafael does not allow.
A council agenda item calling for a moratorium on these cell towers until the City can enact a new ordinance will be forthcoming.
See below for the City of San Rafael's city code on this issue:
Wireless communication facilities.
The alternative site analysis shall be presented in a narrative form with supporting maps and other graphics that identify the other site locations considered and rejected in favor of the proposed site. The applicant shall provide supporting reasons why the alternate sites were infeasible and rejected and why the proposed site is superior from a technical or other standpoint to the others considered.
(Ord. 1823 § 1 (Exh. A) (part), 2004).