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Neighbors making waves in opposition to AT&T cell tower on North Whidbey

North Whidbey resident Becky Moss stands at the edge of property on the private road leading to her home. She says the road and trees would be decimated if a cell tower is raised in the woods behind her. Several trees are already marked with orange dots. - Janis Reid / Whidbey News-Times
North Whidbey resident Becky Moss stands at the edge of property on the private road leading to her home. She says the road and trees would be decimated if a cell tower is raised in the woods behind her. Several trees are already marked with orange dots.
— image credit: Janis Reid / Whidbey News-Times

Nancyjo Dzubay refuses to allow a 110-foot cell tower to be built in her back yard.

“It’s literally going to be out my back door on the property line,” Dzubay said.

“I’m super, super pissed.”

Contractor  SmartLink held a community meeting May 15 on behalf of AT&T Mobility Corporation, which wants to build a cell tower on the back of a property off Sleeper Road and Bottineau Place. Residents in the area received letters on May 8 informing them of the proposal.

Dzubay said she’s not only concerned that the cell tower will destroy the scenic nature of her property, but she also worries how the cell tower will affect the health of her family.

“It’s going to radiate my children,” Dzubay said. “They are going to glow in the dark.”

Dzubay, who lives under the flight path of aircraft based at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, said the jets don’t bother her, but the constant humming from a cell tower will.

Dzubay is not alone in her concerns.

Nearby resident Becky Moss says she was told that construction of the cell tower would destroy Bottineau Place, the private road to her home, and probably disrupt her water and sewage service.

“They said they’d fix it after,” Moss said. “This is my only driveway. I walk my son to the bus stop along that road.”

Several of the trees in the forested location have already been marked with orange dots for razing, which would be a tragedy, Moss said, because the area is home to white spotted owls.

“We moved to the country because of the peace,” Moss said. “This is a quiet neighborhood. This affects me. It’s going to be in my front yard.”

The location of the proposed cell tower, which would be on property leased from the resident at 505 E. Sleeper Road, falls within the Accident Potential Zone, or APZ II, associated with the Navy’s flight patterns identified on Island County maps.

Moss said she believes this makes the proposed location of the cell tower a danger to residents and aircraft.

“It’s straight up dangerous to put a 110-foot cell tower here,” Moss said.

Because the cell tower would be near Whidbey Island Naval Air Station and aircraft flight patterns, AT&T will have to follow a process and consult with the Federal Aviation Administration, according to NAS Whidbey Public Affairs Officer Mike Welding.

Welding said Thursday that he is not aware of any communication from AT&T regarding the proposed cell tower.

AT&T officials confirmed Friday that they have filed an application with the FAA, which has yet to make a determination, according to Marianne Bichsel.

An Obstruction Evaluation/Airport Airspace Analysis must be conducted by the FAA before the cell tower can be approved.

A preapplication was also filed with the Island County Planning and Community Development Department, Bichsel said. Depending on the result of the application, AT&T is hoping to be able to file for the necessary permits within 30 days, Bichsel said.

 

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