LTE: Radio/Cell tower degrades neighborhood


Radio/Cell Tower’s in Residential Neighborhoods
We are strongly opposed to radio or cell towers being located in residential neighborhoods
The recent decision by the Clallam County Hearing Examiner, William Payne to approve a 150 ft. Radio Cell Tower with three, 19-23 foot radio antennas at the top and possibly 4 cell company attachments with their antenna arrays at 129, 119, and 109 ft. which will be highly visible as existing trees are about 67ft., at the location of 686 Brigadoon Blvd. in Dungeness Heights should never have been approved. The property is in zone NC Rural Neighborhood Conservation Zone which is vital for rural life. 

A   Conditional Use Permit and Variance were required since 150 ft. cell towers are not allowed in this NC zone.  Radio Pacific, Inc.(the original applicant) should only have received a Variance & Conditional  Use Permit if he was denied the rights and privileges of other property owners in the vicinity. Other property owners must have the same right. The approval constitutes a grant of special privilege which cannot be legally granted as it does not meet the requirements. The proposed tower is inconsistent with the land use regulations in the vicinity of the subject property. It should be located in Preference area 1 or 2. There is no valid reason for it to be in Preference Area 3. The proposed tower will have an irreversible adverse impact on surrounding land uses .

 The Dungeness Heights Homeowners have now filed a lawsuit against Radio Pacific, Shirley Tjemsland, and Clallam County.  They have filed with the FCC for an environmental assessment .
List of Main Proponent’s of the Radio- Cell Tower
Radio Pacific, Inc.—  Original Applicant -owned by Brown Maloney—KZQM
Byron Gunnerson- Consultant —- previous VP Western Region T-Mobile
Ken Hays –Agent/Architect—– former City of Sequim- City Council resigned 12-14-15
Shirley Tjemsland–property owner  686 Brigadoon Blvd —-son- City of Sequim Utilities Manager
There is an existing county ordinance703 which states there shall be a minimum setback for cell towers of 1000 feet from schools, public parks, historic places and State Route 101 or 112. Shouldn’t our residences be given equal or more protection since we are in them up to 24 hours a day?

I believe it is time for a review & change of Section 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1966 which prohibits state and local governments from regulating the placement of wireless facilities on health or environmental grounds. The World Health Organization has more recent studies and other countries have far better protection. Recent studies suggest a 1500 ft. minimum setback from homes. At least there should be a moratorium till the U.S. updates its studies. The City of Sequim has a 6 month moratorium on a related issue.

To learn more about the negative effects of Cell Towers watch the documentary Full Signal(at local libraries or on U-Tube) filmed in 10 countries with scientists studying the effects.
 As a retired Real Estate Agent licensed in both California and Washington, I know that installing a cell tower at this location will reduce the value of the homes nearby. The Appraisal Journal states that the price of properties were reduced by around 21% after a cell tower was built in the neighborhood.  What is in the near proximity of your home does effect the value. Location is of the utmost importance.  

This subdivision had CCR’s which I was given when we purchased our home. Which I and my neighbors assumed would protect us from anything like this from ever happening.

In the event that the CCR’s failed I had hoped that the county planning commission and the hearing examiner would protect us from having a commercial, non-conforming structure in a rural residential area. That is one of the most beautiful residential areas in Sequim. Which has ponds and wetlands thru-out and is a wildlife habitat for ducks, geese, heron’s and other birds. It is also in the daily flight path of swans and geese. 4 to 5 million migratory birds die each year in tower & guy wire collisions. We also have an eagle nest with 2 chicks in our neighborhood.

I feel that the county should have notified the whole subdivision of Dungeness Heights and not just within 600 ft. of the proposed tower.  The majority of homeowners were never notified. I myself only learned by walking past the small sign which was only required for 15 days and it was too late for me to comment on the radio tower.  For the cell tower we had to go door to door to try to inform the rest of the neighborhood. We had approximately 200 signatures opposing the cell tower. We also had a whole room full of people at the hearing opposed to the tower.

I am not convinced that Radio Pacific could not co-locate on an existing tower for it’s new radio station-KZQM such as the KSQM tower(KSQM spent much time and money to make sure that their tower did not encroach on a residential area) and if KSQM can cover our area from up Blue Mt. on DNR land then I do not see the need for this tower to be at this location. KSQM is our current local non-profit radio channel which notifies us of emergencies and local events. I urge you to support KSQM and not confuse it with the new KZQM.

This is an extremely bad location for a cell tower as not only is it located right in a residential subdivision; in addition, to the south and west of the proposed site are wetlands. The tower is to be located on a parcel that is designated Critical Aquifer Recharge Area and the northern portion of the site is designated landslide hazard. We are expecting a major earthquake here.

If there is truly a need for a cell tower in this general area and If the cell companies can’t co-locate on an existing tower, there must be a more suitable, piece of land . I have submitted several alternative locations starting at 1505 Sequim Dungeness–Sequim View Cemetery and driving north on Sequim Dungeness you will see acres of undeveloped land with ridges between that would be far more suitable then the neighborhood of Dungeness Heights. I also believe that by using my alternative locations or a similar site there would be far greater coverage for the areas between without the need for a future additional tower.  I do not believe that the applicant has proved that there are no alternative locations for either his radio or cell tower. Wireless communication facilities shall co-locate to the greatest extent possible to minimize the total number of communication towers throughout the county.

I have no problem with our cell phones. Verizon representative stated that their coverage in our area is excellent. Most government agencies (Police & Fire) use Verizon. I called the Sequim Police Dept., Clallam County Sheriff Dept. and Clallam County Fire District 3 who all stated Verizon is best and they have no trouble in our area.
I will hold the applicant responsible for any interference or loss of our existing perfect TV, phone service or computer. Many people living near towers report interference on other electronic devices. CTV News stated anything that emits electro magnetic waves can interfere with your wi/fi

Allowing a Radio Cell Tower in a residential neighborhood sets a very bad precedent . This could happen in your neighborhood next.

Submitted by
Diane Hood, Homeowner  &
Don Myers, Retired Subdivision Coordinator-Clallam County Planning Dept.

1 Comment

  1. Dale Draves

    I just saw this tower driving in the Dungeness area. I like it. They did a great job making that look like a tree. Saw the guys putting on the branches. Since my Verizon cell phone misses calls in the area Id have to disagree that Verizon service is just fine in the area.

    You guys will have so many more options for service now. My girlfriends dad says their property value in California shot up once good internet and cell service came around.

    You can see the tree from their house.


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