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Brooklyn Neighborhood Wins Appeal against Cell Tower Construction

A small victory to empower people and neighborhoods was won yesterday at the city council.
Hi All,

A small victory to empower people and neighborhoods was won yesterday at the city council. The Brooklyn Neighborhood (inner SE area south of Powell) won an appeal to the city council against the building of a new Cell Phone Tower on Milwaukie Ave. The vote was unanimous - Francesconi, Leonard, Sten and Saltzman all voted in favor of the neighborhood! This appeal and battle was seen as having a potential impact in other neighborhoods across the city who also may face Cell Phone tower issues in the very near future (such as HAND). Putting the tower in or near residential areas was one of the issues raised, Brooklyn has other towers in industrial areas - but this would have been very near several houses and apartments.

The following is taken from an email the Brooklyn Neighborhood Association Board sent out yesterday:

The City Council heard arguments against the Land Use Hearings Officer ruling to allow a conditional use permit for T Mobile / Voice Stream Wireless, to erect a cell tower on the site of the Yummy Garden. Testimonials were given by 10 neighborhood activists countering the findings of the Hearings Officer.

The appeal was submitted by the Brooklyn Action Corps to the City Council on behalf of the neighborhood. The final vote was discussed by Commissioners Francesconi, Leonard, Sten and Saltzman. All voted in favor of repealing the decision of the Hearings Officer.

Their decision was based on the discussion of the ruling that stated that the cell tower would not have a "negative impact" on the neighborhood and also that T Mobil / Voice Stream Wireless had not thoroughly searched alternative sites that would have had less impact.

This appeal and the positive decision of the council reaffirms the neighborhoods position that the "Little Voice" can be heard but it takes diligent effort and a lot of time on the part of many people.

Thanks to all who had input. WE WON!!

Previous Indymedia Thread:
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/05/288948.shtml
right f****ing on! 11.Jun.2004 09:43

Pinky atomic

score one for the people!

Congratulations, all! 11.Jun.2004 09:45

Brooklyn resident

This is GREAT news! Folks living in Hosford-Aberathy, directly to the north of Brooklyn, are opposing a cell tower from the same company in their own neighborhood, and this news will surely give them more confidence in their efforts.

For those who don't know, Brooklyn is bounded by the River on the West and Powell on the North. The East boundary might be 26th, and i don't know what the South boundary is. (Woodstock? Steele?) More info on Brooklyn can be found here:  http://www.brooklyn-neighborhood.org/

More Info for other neighborhoods 11.Jun.2004 10:18

jbk

Also, while researching this issue I did find some other useful information that may be of use to other neighborhoods such as HAND:

1) Seattle's Mayor Nickel's and the Department of Design, Construction and Land Use
(DLCU) "prepared draft legislation in 2003 that would prohibit cell antennas in Single Family and Residential Small Lot zones in most situations."

Source:
 http://www.cityofseattle.net/mayor/issues/Cell_Antenna_FAQ.htm

2) San Francisco also has legislation that calls residential neighborhoods
"Disfavored Sites" for cell tower placement and would only approve tower
placement in them after "clear and convincing evidence" that it is
"essential to meet demands in the geographic service area."

Source:
 http://www.ci.sf.ca.us/site/bdsupvrs_page.asp?id=21242

3) Federal legistlation was proposed in 2002 called the "The Local Control of Cellular Towers Act"
That would give cities more power to look at the health related effects of cellular tower when making a decision about placement. Those bills were S.3102, S.3103 cosponsored by Senators Leahy, Jeffords and Murray. H.R.5631, H.R.5632 cosponsored by Congressmen Sanders of Vermont, Tancredo of Colorado, Davis of Illinois and Shays of Connecticut.

4) Cities will still be worried about the legal issues with the 1996 Telecommunications act untill the above legistlation can get more support. But neighborhoods still may find several recent national cases permitting local governments more discretion. The law firm of Miller & Van Eaton on the east coast has a great "tower toolkit 2004" that sums up some of the recent court
rulings:

 http://www.millervaneaton.com/feature_toolkit2004.html