FOLLOWUP: City hearing examiner upholds decision approving cell antennas on Alki apartment building

The decision is in for a citizens-vs.-city case we reported here in May, the appeal of a Department of Planning and Development decision allowing 12 new Verizon antennas on the roof of an Alki apartment building. As reported here in May, a group of neighbors voicing health and aesthetic concerns banded together as “Stop Alki Cell Towers” and challenged the approval, also launching a publicity campaign that included a protest.

Last week, they argued their case before city Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner in a daylong hearing downtown (you can read the minutes and listen to audio of the hearing by going into the case file on the city website). Tanner published her decision yesterday (Wednesday, July 29th).

She noted that “Stop Alki Cell Towers” withdrew all but one issue at the appeal hearing, the issue alleging that the project would break city rules by being “substantially detrimental” to the “residential character” of the neighborhood and that was not the “least intrusive” potential location. In her ruling, Tanner went over the reasons why Verizon wound up with this building and also said the group presented no evidence proving the claim that the antennas would be “detrimental,” so she upheld the city’s decision approving the installation. Read her decision in its entirety here. If the group wants to continue its challenge, it will have to take the city to court.

15 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: City hearing examiner upholds decision approving cell antennas on Alki apartment building"

  • flimflam July 30, 2015 (6:23 am)

    ” citizens-vs.-city case ” – and the city won?!! no way…

  • Joe Szilagyi July 30, 2015 (8:56 am)

    I wonder how many more of these cases versus the ‘city’ would be won if people challenged the city on legal, technical, or procedural issues instead of emotional and aesthetic ones.

  • Carrie P July 30, 2015 (9:03 am)

    Joe Szilagyi, just drop the mic and walk off, no one else can top your comment. So so right on!

  • Rick July 30, 2015 (9:41 am)

    To quote Pogo “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  • nate July 30, 2015 (10:28 am)

    I’m glad they’re putting in more cell towers. Service at my house not far from here is terrible and I’m hoping this will improve things. I’ve looked at other nearby cell towers around Alki and I don’t think they’re that obtrusive. I was surprised at how small they are. It sounds like these will be no different. I’m also a scientist and I haven’t read a single credible study that links cell tower radiation with health problems. I think the opposition on this has been quite silly.

  • mem July 30, 2015 (10:54 am)

    Thank God cell service will finally improve in the Alki area. Especially for public safety purposes. This cant get done soon enough.

  • G July 30, 2015 (11:49 am)

    Mainstream epidemiological studies show no harmful effects. I think skepticism is generally good, but this seems to be one where there is agreement.

  • Jim July 30, 2015 (1:09 pm)

    Joe – When there are no legal or procedural protections put down for the citizens, what else can they do?

  • Joe Szilagyi July 30, 2015 (1:25 pm)

    “When there are no legal or procedural protections put down for the citizens, what else can they do?”
    Change the gatekeepers of the laws — the legislative body with the power to do so — and then change the laws to create the opportunity. If you can’t, that’s the system working as designed and intended since we became the United States of America.

  • Jim July 30, 2015 (2:20 pm)

    Joe – Sounds good from a Civics Class point of view. (and you are right) But when they are putting the ugly in your neighborhood there isn’t time to change the government.

    We need to be careful when we let things slide because it doesn’t affect us this time.

  • Mickymse July 30, 2015 (3:07 pm)

    Well, maybe folks should learn that we’re responsible for paying attention ALL THE TIME, and not just waiting until something is happening in our neighborhood or the tax bill is already in the mail. That’s too late.
    There’s a primary election coming up on August 4th. Your ballot gets mailed directly to you. The County also mails a Voters Guide directly to you — with statements from candidates on your ballot. Pay attention, and vote your interests.

  • Barb August 1, 2015 (6:51 am)

    Like second-hand smoke, it’s a fact that cell antennae and cell phone radiation is a class 2B carcinogen, and more than 2,000 peer-reviewed, published studies link living within 1/4 mile of a cell tower and cell phone usage to much higher rates of cancer, autism and more. We have more than enough evidence to be proactive and protective.

  • erico August 1, 2015 (9:40 am)

    Barb- please provide some links to at least a couple of these papers. When I search pubmed I can’t find any papers showing a link between towers and cancer or autism.

  • erico August 1, 2015 (9:50 am)

    Second hand tobacco smoke is a class 1 carcinogen (known to be carcinogenic to humans).

  • erico August 1, 2015 (3:19 pm)

    Coffee is a class 2B carcinogen.

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