Cell Tower Fight Takes Next Step

At their monthly board meeting last night, Southeast Uplift voted to provide financial assistance to the Mt. Scott-Arleta Neighborhood Association as they continue to fight Verizon’s bid to construct a cell phone tower off of Foster Road.

After city council countered a hearings officer’s recommendation that the proposal be denied, which cleared the path for Verizon’s development, the residents of Mt. Scott-Arleta are now taking their case to the state’s Land Use Board of Appeals.  To help pay the filing fee for “notice of intent to appeal,” as well as a deposit for costs, Southeast Uplift passed a motion to provide $400 to Mt. Scott-Arleta in their efforts to block Verizon’s plan, which would entail construction of a 45-foot tower on the Mt. Scott Fuel site, at SE 69th and Foster.  The cell tower would include nine antennas, each with three 750 watt channels.

Although city council ignored flaws in Verizon’s plan, as well as community arguments/concerns and a hearings officer’s recommendation, the support from Southeast Uplift gives the neighborhood a moral and political boost in addition to the $400.  The fight will now continue at the state level, and hopefully with a positive outcome.

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6 Responses to Cell Tower Fight Takes Next Step

  1. Apologies for my ignorance, but could you briefly sum up why people may not want a cell tower on the site? I’m just south of the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood and there’s one a couple blocks from me. Now I’m curious whether I should be concerned and/or how that thing got installed without more neighborhood notification…

  2. JJ says:

    I’m in the same boat as Heather. The location isn’t exactly one know for it’s natural beauty. Why would I be concerned about this tower going up?

    • I don’t think anyone wants to give up hope on Foster Road’s eventual beautification simply because it hasn’t been known for its beauty in the past. We’re trying to do better, not stagnate or get worse. That’s not the only issue, however. Verizon’s request for a variance, as Ruben points out below, had inconsistencies…and the application had enough flaws in it that a hearings officer recommended the project be denied.

      Potential health concerns, too, play a part, and I imagine the amount of radiation emitted makes some neighbors a little uneasy.

  3. MeghanH says:

    Here is a detailed explanation of the basis for the neighborhood’s response to this project: http://www.mtscottarleta.com/2012/04/cell-tower-at-mt-scott-fuel.html#more

  4. Ruben Medina says:

    @bookishheather: While am not an expert, my understading is that cellphone towers emit RF radiation which can effect the health of persons in the vicinity. However, the EPA and other regulate the amount of radiation that each tower can emit in a given area thereby reducing the effects to “acceptable” levels. However, the issue with this verizon tower as I understand it, is that Verizon request a variance to erect this tower. Generally, only a certain number of towers are allow in a given area becuase there is another tower nearby Verizon want an exception to that general rule. What this means, in my opinion, is that if erect the neighbors in the vicinity of the the new tower would be exposed to the combination of RF radiation from two towers.

    If anyone can add to this it would help. Again am not an expert on it but that’s my understanding.

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