Friday, April 21, 2017

Update On Proposed Cell Phone Tower In Bryant And How To Get Involved


 (photo courtesy of petitioners)
 
Last month, a special meeting regarding a proposed cell phone tower near Assumption St. Bridget School, that T-Mobile has applied for (Permit #3026196 at 3114 NE 65th Street) was held at the school. 

The tower is proposed to be 100 feet high and attached to the utility pole in the parking strip area near the school, on NE 65th Street and 32nd Avenue NE.

The school said that "regulations require that proper notifications be sent to everyone within 300 feet of the proposed site. This was not done." 

More information and a petition by a group of neighbors can be found here.

Jessica Jackson, church parishioner and ASB parentsent the Laurelhurst Blog this update from the meeting:

The meeting was attended by about a dozen T-Mobile representatives, representatives from the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection (SDCI), representatives from Seattle City Light, Geri Morris (Legislative Assistant to Councilman Rob Johnson), and about [30] members of the community.

T-Mobile provided background information regarding its company, wireless communication, and a gap in coverage in the vicinity. Its health expert, Andrew Thatcher (an independent consultant highered by T-Mobil), discussed studies that suggest that RF radiation in the levels permitted by the FCC does not cause negative health effects. Speakers also included Onum Esonu from the SDCI, Gerry Morris on behalf of Councilman Rob Johnson, and representatives from Seattle City Light. Jessica Jackson (parishioner and ASB mom) and Karl Eberhardt (dentist next to the Bryant Corner Cafe) spoke in opposition of the project.

When the meeting was opened up for questions, many voiced concerns and opposition about the proposed cell tower, and no one in the audience spoke in favor the cell tower. Questions were raised about alternative sites for the cell tower and related logistical and engineering issues, visual impacts of a 70 ft pole, notification issues, health effects and the lack of scientific studies on children and cell towers specifically (among others). It was noted by one community member that in Europe countries restrict cell tower placement within 1000-1500 ft of an elementary school.

Seattle City Light will make the final decision regarding the project. Anyone wanting to voice an opinion with respect the project can sign an online petition (against the project) and/or contact any of the individuals listed below:


 


Petition (against the project)
 
Rob Johnson (City Councilman for NE Seattle) - Rob.Johnson@seattle.gov or
Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, 2nd Floor, Seattle, WA 98104 or

 Sephir Hamilton (Chief of Staff, Seattle City Light) - Sephir.Hamilton@Seattle.gov, same address as above

Larry Weis (General Manager & CEO of Seattle City Light, (Seattle City Light makes the final decision regarding the project) - Larry.Weis@Seattle.gov or 700 5th Avenue, Suite 3200, P.O. Box 34023, Seattle, WA 98124-4023


 Scott Kubly (Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation final approval of the project requires his consent) - Scott.Kubly@Seattle.gov or Seattle Municipal Tower, P.O. Box 34996, 700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA  98124-4996

 
Michael Mattmiller (Chief Technology Officer of the Seattle Department of Information & Technology, final approval of the project requires his consent) - Michael.Mattmiller@Seattle.gov or Seattle IT, P.O. Box 94709, Seattle, WA 98124-4709

 Mayor Ed Murray - Ed.Murray@Seattle.gov or PO Box 94749, Seattle, WA 98124-4749 or on-line

 




Here is a letter that Rob Johnson, NE Seattle City Councilman wrote in support of the concerns of the community:
March 29, 2017
 
Director Nathan Torgelson
Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections
700 5th Ave. Suite 2000
PO Box 34019
Seattle, WA 98124-4019
 
General Manager Weis
Seattle City Light
700 5th Avenue Suite 3200
P.O. Box 34023
Seattle, WA 98124-4023
 
Dear Director Torgelson and General Manager Weis,
 
I’m writing about the application by T-mobile to affix a communication utility on Seattle City Light Utility Pole #1347883, located at NE 65th Street just west of the intersection of 32nd Ave NE.
 
I have heard from over 125 Bryant residents, business owners and members of Assumption St. Bridget’s school and parish community expressing their concerns about the project – specifically regarding the location of this communication utility and the manner in which public notice was received.  Although I acknowledge that the official public comment period for this project has closed, I would like to submit this letter echoing their concerns and outlining two legislative actions I plan to take to address these concerns for future projects.
 
First, because the City owns the property on which these types of utility poles are placed, we as a City, in our proprietary capacity, get to decide to whom we lease space on these poles and for what purposes. I would like City Council to explore the criteria by which Seattle City Light (SCL) decides to lease their utility poles. Furthermore, I would like to explore establishing a criterion for SCL that precludes telecommunications projects locating on City Light facilities within a certain number of feet of an elementary school.
 
And second, while I acknowledge that notice was mailed to residents and business owners residing or operating within 300 feet of the project (and I thank Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections for that work), in response to concerns heard from community members in regards to the manner in which notice was provided, I believe that the definition of notice around telecommunications projects should be expanded.
 
As chair of the Planning, Land Use & Zoning committee my goal is to ensure as much transparency to the public about City projects, and I believe that a higher degree of transparency can be achieved going forward.
 
I understand that, due to separation of powers, decision-making authority for this action lies outside the legislative branch of City government, however, I do hope that my strong opposition echoing that of my constituents is registered and taken into consideration.
 
If I may provide additional information about this issue please don’t hesitate to contact me at Rob.Johnson@seattle.gov or (206) 684-8808.
 
Regards,
 
 
 
Councilmember Rob Johnson, District 4
 
 
cc:       Shauna Larsen, Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections
Maura Brueger, Seattle City Light
Inga Manskopf, Ravenna Bryant Community Council
Chris Fiori, Ravenna Bryant Community Council
John Finelli, Wedgwood Community Council
 

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