By Meg Olson
It’s official. Community efforts to prevent a proposed radio tower farm from being built on the Point have succeeded.
November 30 was the last day that BBC Broadcasting could appeal the most recent legal ruling in Skagit County Superior Court that the proposed array of five 150-foot AM radio towers was not allowed under existing zoning. Their failure to do so amounted to their abandoning their project, according to Jennifer Urquhart, treasurer with the Cross Border Coalition to Stop the Radio Towers.
The grassroots coalition brought together people from both sides of the border to fight the project, which was intended to serve metro Vancouver’s east Asian community. Opponents said the towers would wreak havoc with electronics in Point Roberts and Tsawwassen.
“We are gratified that our small communities have prevailed in a case where we were out-gunned and out-spent,” Urquhart said. “This win shows what can be done when ordinary citizens of two countries unite behind a common cause – in this case to protect our quality of life and health from an unwanted tower array on our shared peninsula.”
Congresswoman Suzan DelBene was quick to congratulate the coalition. “After a lot of hard work, determination and vocal objection, Point Roberts has succeeded in preventing the construction of this project that would have negatively affected the quality of life for residents,” DelBene said. “I am honored to have worked closely with the community on this important issue, and thankful for the efforts of all involved.”
The two-year legal battle has taken the coalition and its lawyers from the county hearing examiner through to superior court, and has cost a quarter of a million dollars, raised from community donations and fundraising events. Urquhart said they still need to raise $15,000 to pay off the legal bills and encouraged community members to visit notowers.webs.com to donate. The coalition has also petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to deny the renewal of BBC’s broadcast license.