The rooftop of the Stevens Crest Apartments on the southeast corner of 61st/Stevens in Alki is the latest battleground for concerns over the installation of cell-phone antennas in local neighborhoods. City approval for 12 new antennas on that rooftop has been appealed, with the city Hearing Examiner scheduled to consider the case in July, and before that, opponents who have formed a group called “Stop Alki Cell Towers” have announced a community rally at the beach for next Thursday (May 7th).
We mentioned the opposition to the proposed antennas back in March, when it was one of the issues that community members brought to Mayor Murray during his coffee-conversation stop after a Junction/Triangle walking tour; we also noted that an online petition had been launched. Here’s the “appeal statement” that has been filed with the city; nearby residents say they are worried about health risks, proximity to Alki Elementary (3 blocks east – here’s a map), noise, and visual effects. To the latter point, the following document from the online project file shows simulations of what Verizon and its project team say the antennas would look like if/when installed:
The installation also requires an equipment room – “supporting BTS (Base Transmission System) radio equipment” – in the building basement, according to other documents in the online file, apparently on the parking level, which is beneath three levels of apartments in the building.
Meantime, here’s what “Stop Alki Cell Towers” spokesperson Barb Morgen says about the plan for Thursday’s protest:
The group will be hosting an information rally and demonstration on the beach near the Bathhouse at Alki Beach Park on Thursday, May 7 at 7 pm,
immediately following the PTA meeting at Alki Elementary School. Parents, kids, neighbors and all who use Alki Beach Park are welcome to join us. We will be making S’Mores for the kids, sharing information on the proposed towers, and how everyone can help with the group’s appeal to Seattle DPD to stop the towers from being built. The rally and demonstration will end with replicas of the 12 cell towers being burned in protest, in a fire pit at Alki Beach.
The construction-permit application for the antennas has not received final approval; the review is on hold until there’s a decision on the aforementioned appeal.
EDITOR’S NOTE, ADDED WEDNESDAY: Alki Elementary’s PTA tells us they do NOT have a meeting this Thursday – their next meeting is a week later, on May 14th, and is entirely unrelated to this topic – so we have struck that part of the group’s announcement, above.