No Cake Walk For Verizon In Baker City

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During a recent Baker City Planning Commission (Oregon) meeting, some residents spoke up about their opposition to a 70-foot tall Verizon tower project. Of the thirty residents who attended the meeting, some raised concerns over “blocked views,” decreased property values, generator noise, and health effects due to harmful RF emissions.  

Per the Baker City Herald, the proposed site is zoned general industrial, but Verizon had to apply for a conditional-use permit due to the tower’s height. 

It’s not the first time Verizon proposed a tower in Baker City. In 2015, a 100-foot tower was blocked by commissioners due to “negative impacts on adjacent properties and on the public.”  

At the public hearing, Sophia Mekkers of Black Rock Consulting, working on behalf of Verizon, said the tower would improve coverage and will also have the ability for one co-located antenna. Additionally, in a letter submitted to the Planning Commission by Hathaway Larson, a law firm representing Verizon, the firm argues that Baker City’s zoning ordinance does not include provisions allowing commissioners to reject the application based on claims about reduced property values.

The Commission did not decide on the matter during last week’s public hearing. They will hold a follow-up meeting on November 13 regarding the Verizon application.

October 22, 2019

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