Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Proposed Bryant Neighborhood Cell Phone Tower Meeting Tomorrow

Tomorrow at 7pm, Assumption St. Bridget School (6220 32nd Avenue NE), is holding a community meeting regarding a proposed cell phone tower near their school.

The information the school sent out says:

Cell Tower Information

Assumption Parish will host in the fellowship hall a meeting on Wednesday, March 29, at 7:00 p.m. to discuss the cell tower that T-Mobil has applied for.  
This tower is proposed to be 100 ft high and attached to the utility pole in the parking strip area near ASB, between Bryant Cafe and Karl Eberhardt Dental Office on 65th and 32nd.
Regulations require that proper notifications be sent to everyone within 300 feet of the proposed site. This was not done.  T-Mobile will be present at this meeting.

Permit #3026196 seems to correspond to this project stating with the address of 3114 NE 65th Street stating:

Application to locate a minor communication utility (T-Mobile) on Seattle City Light Utility Pole #1347883 within the right-of-way. The project includes attaching three antennas and one equipment enclosure to the new pole. Final decision on placement of antennas will be made by Seattle City Light.  CITY LIGHT POWER POLE #1347883, T-MOBILE ANTENNAS AND EQUIP.

The Laurelhurst Blog has heard from many residents living in and outside the neighborhood concerned with the out-of-scale location that would be seen from miles around, and would be "an eyesore" as many residents have described it. 

Another concern of numerous residents that not only live near to the proposed cell tower as well several miles away, as well as parents of ASB students is the hazard from the exposure of the electromagnetic field's (EMF) generated by the towers being so close to the school as well as residential neighborhoods.  

Last year, Medina residents fought the proposal of a cell phone tower with an 80 foot pole to be located in a neighborhood park of the neighborhood.

The Seattle Times reported that City officials claimed that the location at the edge of the park, adjacent to the 520-Evergreen Point Road lid, had the least impact on neighbors while also providing income to the city — $32,000 the previous year- from the cell-tower lease.

At the time, City Councilmember Boyd, who had urged the city to capitalize on potential cell-tower revenue said “Everyone wants coverage, and no one wants a tower.  Every dollar we get from them (cell-tower providers) is money we don’t have to get from taxes."

The litigation was put on hold while residents and Independent Towers, the tower applicant which builds towers that cellphone providers then lease, "sometimes known as a vertical landlord", and the provide, T-Mobile, negotiated another possible site.

In 2014, Independent Towers’ request was denied by the City for a special-use permit and variances to put the 80-foot pole and 1,525-square-foot equipment vault in the same park.  The hearing examiner said Independent Towers didn't prove that the proposed location was the least intrusive that could be built in a residential area, as is required by the City of Medina’s land-use code or that the 80-foot tower was needed in filling a coverage gap along SR520, another requirement of the Medina's code.  

RespectMedina, a group of concerned citizens, voiced objection, saying that "the City would not defend its own hearing examiner’s ruling. They argued the city’s interest in revenue from the cell-tower lease was diametrically opposed to its regulatory responsibilities and the interests of the pro-park neighbors." And the judge agreed with the citizens.

Cindy Adkins, former President of RespectMedina, commented at the time that "a pole that tall can also host numerous providers and generate a lot of revenue for the company, at the expense of residents who value their parks and don’t want to see them commercialized."               

A federal judge agreed.

In 2015 a group of West Seattle residents fought to keep 12 new cell phone towers from being installed on top of an apartment complex in the Alki neighborhood.

And last year, a group of Magnolia neighbors set up a petition to stop 9 cell phone towers from being installed along the edge of Magnolia Boulevard.

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