Published on: Thursday, November 7, 2019 City Council & Mayor Blog

Application To Replace Existing Antennas on Park Ritchie Apartment Building


Recently, concerns were raised about possible radio frequency (RF) exposure from a proposal by Verizon to replace 9 antennas on the Park Ritchie Apartment building. The Takoma Park City Council issued a letter to the Chair of the Transmissions Facilities Coordination Group requesting clarification about potential dangers posed by the cumulative RF emissions from this proposed action. The application was reviewed by the Montgomery County Transmission Facilities Coordination Group on Wednesday, 11/6. At that meeting, they agreed to ask the applicant to provide additional information and tabled a vote on the application until the December meeting.

The application submitted by Site Link Wireless, on behalf of Verizon, included an analysis of the RF emissions from all antennas currently on the building, including the proposed 9 replacements. Based on modeling completed by EBI Consulting, RF emissions were found to be in excess of the FCC limits in three finite locations both above the roof and to the exterior of the building. There was no indication that RF levels would be elevated below the roofline nor reach any additional building on any side of the Park Ritchie Apartment building.

Based on the assessment, there are no areas where RF emissions would exceed the FCC standard where the public would be exposed. The areas where emission exceeded the FCC level are above the roof on the main roof level and at the roofline outside the building envelope on the lower roof level on two sides of the building. There is no indication that RF levels exceed standards inside the building, even directly below the main roof. The roof areas are only accessible by certain personnel. There is currently signage, as required, notifying anyone on the roof of the presence of antennas and radio frequency.

There was no actual RF testing done at this site, there is no requirement for actual testing of these facilities. The information provided is based on predictive modeling using worst-case scenarios based on the type of equipment and the number of antennas on the roof.

The Tower Commission has requested additional visual information from the applicant so that the area where RF emissions exceed the FCC limit will be more clearly shown, particularly in relation to the top floor of the building.

Anyone with a question about this issue can contact:

Daryl Braithwaite, City’s Public Works Director
301 891 7615 or

Daryl is the City’s representative on the Transmission Facilities Coordination Group.