by SANDOR GYARMATI, DELTA OPTIMIST
OCTOBER 5, 2015 09:05 AM
- The battle over radio towers in Point Roberts has made its way to Skagit County Superior Court. BBC Broadcasting’s appeal of Whatcom County council’s rejection of the proposal begins Wednesday. Photograph By file
The company behind a controversial proposal to build radio transmission towers near the Point Roberts/Tsawwassen border is having its day in court.
A non-jury trial begins Wednesday afternoon at the Skagit County Courthouse in Washington state to hear an appeal by BBC Broadcasting Inc. against a decision by Whatcom County to reject the company’s application to erect five 45-metre (150-foot) steel towers at an undeveloped lot on McKenzie Way, about 330 metres from the Tsawwassen border.
The company filed a LUPA (Land Use Petition Act) appeal in Skagit County. In Washington state, LUPA provides a direct judicial review of land use decisions.
The company is fighting a decision by Whatcom County council, which upheld an earlier decision by the county’s hearing examiner to reject the application based on a failure to meet height requirements.
The towers would transmit South Asian radio station KRPI, AM 1550, which broadcasts from studios in Richmond to a Lower Mainland audience. Also known as Sher-E-Punjab AM 1550, the station currently broadcasts using antenna in Ferndale, Wash., but wants to relocate them for a stronger signal.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted a construction permit but a zoning permit was required from Whatcom County. Just days before a county public hearing on the proposal was scheduled to begin last fall, the hearing examiner announced he had denied the application.
The Cross Boarder Coalition to Stop the Radio Towers has been fighting hard against the plan with the group spending big dollars on legal fees.