State Judge Affirms Hearing Examiner’s Decision, Okays Tower
TheClallam County Superior Court Judge made a ruling last week that gave the green light to build a 150-foot tower in Sequim, Washington, affirming an earlier approval of a variance and conditional use permit, reports Peninsula Daily News. In doing so, the judge ruled against the Dungeness Heights Homeowners (DHH) who filed a land use petition against the cell tower, arguing it would compromise “the spirit” of the county code and present health concerns to nearby citizens. The group is considering an appeal.
In his decision, Judge Rohrer was clear in his affirmation of the Hearing Examiner’s decision, writing it was “supported by substantial evidence. The court is satisfied that the hearing examiner carefully applied each of the variance criteria and balanced competing considerations appropriately,” Rohrer wrote. The tower’s original height was 100’—the maximum height allowed under the county code—but was raised to 150’ to accommodate future wireless providers who may be interested in co-locating on the structure. The height increase necessitated a conditional use and variance permit, which was challenged by the DHH.
Radio Pacific owner Brown Maloney, whose company will broadcast a new radio station from the tower, said he received positive feedback from the community supporting the tower despite the legal challenge from the DHH. “While we genuinely sympathize with the DHH group, at the same time I cannot tell you the sheer number of responses that we’ve received…[and] that we’ve heard from and that do also support this,” he told the Peninsula Daily News. Maloney went on to compare the community’s need for a tower to its need for other commercial services, citing the local Home Depot. “A community has to have service such as shopping,” he said.