Neighbor group wins tower ruling

North Bend cell phone structure

to move 50 feet

By Seth Truscott


A group of North Bend residents recently won the last battle in their long-running appeal against a proposed cell tower.

Families in the Circle River Ranch area won’t be bugged as much by the planned 150-foot T-Mobile tower, following King County Hearing Examiner Stafford Smith’s Aug. 25 decision that the tower should move 50 feet southeast of its original site.

This summer, six families appealed a hearing examiner’s decision allowing the tower, and staged a small protest during T-Mobile’s North Bend picnic.

Neighbor Rob Salopek said the examiner’s latest decision reflected a red balloon test run in late July, comparing views at both the original site and the one 50 feet away, which neighbors asked for.

“It made a difference,” Salopek said. “It moved it out of virtually everbody’s view.”

Neighbors challenged the tower’s location to protect their views of nearby Mount Si.

Salopek called the decision a win-win for all parties. Tower property owner Jerome Klacsan and T-Mobile still get to build the tower, he said.

“We didn’t move it into anybody else’s sight view,” Salopek added.

While bittersweet, considering the neighbors’ two-year, $15,000 appeal battle, Salopek savored the win.

“It’s a rare victory over a multi-billion dollar company,” he said. “We’ll take it.”

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