Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Speak against cell tower

If you’ve ever thought about weighing in on the Port of South Whidbey’s ill-conceived cell tower project at the top of the Dorothy Cleveland Trail in Possession Park, now is the time.

The dreaded yellow sign was erected at the south end of Lupine Lane on July 17, which means that the county is now considering building permits and opponents have only until July 31 to submit comments.

Even the handwritten proposal on the sign reveals its destructive environmental impact: “Parcel is in or near: Steep & unstable slopes.”

That’s because the proposed tower and equipment buildings would be erected on a concrete pad that’s less than 50 feet from the top of a very steep bluff climbed by the Dorothy Cleveland Trail from Possession Park on the water below. And an 18-foot-wide access road and ditch would run 500 feet up a 16 degree grade from Lupine Lane.

Trees would be removed; soil would be bulldozed.

With all the recent slides here on Whidbey — including one last January that took out a house about a mile north of the proposed tower site — you’d hope that the county would quickly turn thumbs down to this proposal.

Elliott Menashe, a well-known environmental consultant and bluff erosion expert, told the Port of South Whidbey commissioners in 2012 that the proposed project meant that “stormwater generation, accelerated erosion, initiation of landslides, and perhaps severe adverse impacts to park facilities will likely result from land-clearing and grading. This will not serve the public interest.”

Users of the trail and adjacent property owners have been fighting the port over this unpopular proposal for several years, but the port has pressed ahead despite all objections.

Apparently the prospect of AT&T’s lease money trumps all other considerations for the port commissioners.

But now the county will have the final word, which should be a simple “no.” If you, too, disapprove of an environmentally destructive, industrial-grade intrusion on public parkland, please contact Jason Johnson at Island County’s Planning and Community Development at ja.johnson@co.island.wa.us

Officially, you want to be a “party of record” regarding application 213/13SPR. For more information, visit Friends of the Dorothy Cleveland Trail on Facebook.

Bruce Buls



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