LETTER: City of Burien wants to install Cell Panel network near Lake Burien


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[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

Burien citizens living around the southwest quadrant of Lake Burien are well-advised to take a look at the front and back of a “Notice of Application” sent out July 11, 2018 from the City of Burien Department of Community Development.

Sent on behalf of Verizon Wireless, the letter informs select residents about the upcoming installation of a Verizon cellular antennae panel network to be placed upon 10 existing or replacement utility/telephone pole sites called “nodes.” Verizon completed its application process with the City of Burien on March 27, 2018, and citizens are being given a 2-week comment period ending Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018.

The City of Burien is to be commended and thanked for informing its citizens of Verizon’s application, but the “Notice of Application” fails to identify the network as being 4G, which in my opinion includes documented human health concerns.

  • It fails to mention that the antennae being placed on utility poles will be beaming powerful 4G electromagnetic frequencies a mere 35 feet above the ground, according to the “Non-Ionizing Electromagnetic Radiation Report” commissioned by Verizon from Glotel, a private technology staffing firm whose data is being used by Burien.
  • It fails to mention that Verizon wants market share in an already wi-fi saturated area, and that Burien will receive revenue from Verizon for giving franchise and land use permissions, according to residents.
  • Because only Verizon documents were provided to the author, alternative information other than what Verizon is providing is apparently not being sought.

According to the city, the “Notice of Application” was sent just to residents living within 500 feet of the poles/nodes listed below. All other families were supposed to rely upon a notice in The Seattle Times or upon three yellow reader boards somewhere in the area.

The SW Lake Burien area targeted by Verizon and the City of Burien is bounded by 19th Ave. SW on the west, SW 158th Street on the north, SW 168th to the south and along 9th Avenue SW on the east (see map below).

To put it bluntly – I believe that the closer you are to a node, the greater the potential health danger posed. Below is a list of the location of the nodes; check the utility pole closest to your home:

  • Node 1: 1900 block of SW 167th St. – pole #1372898
  • Node 2: 16000 block of 16th Ave. SW – pole #1403417
  • Node 3: 1500 block of SW 160th – pole #1403359
  • Node 4: 15600 block of 18th Ave. SW – pole #1372649
  • Node 5: 15800 block of 12th Ave. SW – pole #1345943
  • Node 6: 16000 block of 13th Ave. SW – pole # 1403428
  • Node 7: 1200 block of SW 166th St. – pole #1403383
  • Node 8: 16600 block of 10th Ave. SW – pole #1401597
  • Node 9: 16200 block of 10th Ave. SW – pole #1401616
  • Node 10: 15800 block of 9th Ave. SW – pole #1345836

The rest of this report, which does not lay claim to being comprehensive – nor is the author an expert in the field of information technology – is a synthesis of a visit by the author to city offices at the library, input from local residents and the Oct. 23, 2017 city council meeting on Ordinance 679.

One positive is that the city can put Verizon’s telecommunications project on hold by way of public commentary. At the end of the comment period, the city will request additional or corrected information from Verizon. The current version sent out to people via the “Notice of Application” will be put on hold if “fatal flaws” are identified and the model can be revised, according to a planner. The final decision on specific design implementation will be made by Burien’s Community Development Director. This final administrative decision is appealable to the Burien Hearing Examiner.

The city indicated that Verizon Wireless came in with its cellular panel network technology because Verizon’s existing area monopoles couldn’t reach the 35 ft. height necessary for “capturing” a coverage area. Small cell panels and antennas enable telecommunications companies to meet profit-driven goals while at the same time meet local city codes. In the Lake Burien area, 4G requires 10 nodes identified through topography, trees, water, etc. Verizon’s proposed plan works by handing off wi-fi signals for continuous coverage, but it needs more sites via multiple nodes to achieve the same coverage area as a single tower. The only way to do this is by going into the existing public right-of-way, which prevents telecommunicatons companies like Verizon from suing cities for denying FCC backed access.

Verizon has been seeking to increase its wi-fi bandwidth in the SW Lake Burien area for some time. This is because apparently their proposed signals still won’t reach coastal Maplewild Ave SW, even though a Gregory Heights/Maplewild small cell project has already been approved. Verizon is seeking to monopolize three areas of south Seattle with small cell sites: the Southern Heights/Glendale area has been approved; the Gregory Heights/Maplewild area was approved Spring 2018; and approval is now being considered for the Lake Burien area. Speaking of concerns over property values and wi-fi installation points, the proposed antennaes pointing directly over homes in the Lake Burien area point SW and NW toward Maplewild as benefactors.

The upshot is, Burien is working on being in compliance with state and federal rules around wireless technology. New state rules now treat wireless telecommunications companies as utilities so they can get franchise agreements. In 2017 Verizon applied for a franchise agreement to do work in the Lake Burien public right-of-way. It also applied for a land use permit to put in its small cell network, which expires two years from approval to completion. Other permits are also required, i.e., from the City of Seattle. Said a local resident:

“Federal law basically says if a city does not present clear codes and rational for regulation Small Cell Facilities (SCFs), the carriers need only fill in the local municipality forms that are available, the city and private citizens will have no recourse to actually plan, permit, and regulate private installations on the public right of way.”

Regarding 4G vs. 5G wi-fi bandwidth, the frequency the military is said to use in cyber warfare, the City phoned Verizon about it. The answer came back that Verizon’s project is to be a 4G network and not 5G. While this may be true in the moment, it goes against the FCC’s current aggressive push for 5G and what is transpiring in some parts of the world already. A concern is that it seems only a matter of time before Verizon’s 4G network demands an 5G upgrade, with even more deleterious health effects and minimal community participation.

A bit of history according to Burien City Council Minutes and a local citizen:

“The first presentation of Ordinance 679 authorizing the city wide Verizon siting of Small Cell Facilities (SCF’s) in Burien was at the October 23rd 2017 Special Session of the Council. Ordinance 679 was approved at a later meeting. Per meeting minutes, a “citizen expert” and employee of Verizon, on contract to Burien paid for by Verizon, was invited to join the discussion panel, unlike other citizens whose input was limited to 2 minutes per individual. Ordinance 679 allows Verizon a city wide easement for Small Cell Facilities, not limited to either 4G or 5G. Actual installation applications are happening as separate events, with Gregory Heights as the first I have heard of in Burien. Ordinance 679 does not restrict or define locations, nor does it call for equitable distribution of service across the city. Finally, each carrier will need to apply, be approved, and install separate SCFs when they decide to implement (no requirement that Verizon share space in OUR right of way). There will be no unified review of different carrier SCFs (such as is done for Distributed Antenna Systems or DAS). DAS can support multiple carriers in a single antenna installation. This raises the issue that there is no City mandated process for assessing total RF radiation load from multiple carrier installations of SCFs.”

In addition to organic radiation such as the sun emits, harmful artificial radiowave frequencies beamed out in a condensed way are proven to come from the proliferation of devices, towers and small networks like the one Verizon is proposing. There are residents of the Lake Burien and Gregory Heights communities who for years have worked to ensure the beauty and liveability of local neighborhoods, and protested the installation of the cell tower at the top of 160th & 19th SW, located near Gregory Heights Elementary. They lost when hard dollars were offered to the homeowner upon whose property that tower now sits.

A common concern amongst neighbors is that while seamless wi-fi might provide spotless coverage for some people, there are well-documented negative biological effects like memory loss, cardiovascular stress, headaches, low sperm count, birth defects and cancer, that coincide with the installation of local 4G networks. The groin, the heart, and the brain can all be affected, depending upon how a person carries or uses their wi-fi devices. All organisms living and breathing within the invisible wi-fi informational fields of 3G, 4G and 5G are subliminally or blatantly affected on some level by unnatural and artificially pulsed radiowave frequencies. The issue is a matter of being saturated with non-organic wi-fi waves and frequencies pulsing through us not just in our work environments, but all around us, even at home, whether we like it or not.

Because aversion to the natural world is becoming more common with the proliferation of artificial intelligence, human health is at risk and other factors are at stake, the city ought to be verifying the validity and accuracy of Verizon’s information, as well as seeking input from other expert sources before making a final decision here.

If you choose to submit comments in writing, the city has advised that people be specific with their requests and the reason for it, and send in writing to the City of Burien / Department of Community Development / 400 SW 152nd St. / #300 / Burien, WA / 98166, or by e-mailing [email protected].

Only comments in writing will be considered.

Alternative options to the Verizon /Ordinance 679 plan are to:

  1. Request that the city throws out Verizon’s application, and offer a better plan if you have one, although this doesn’t seem likely;
  2. Request the city NOT place a panel and antennae on the pole in front of or near your home and explain why;
  3. Request the city change the directionality of the antennae on the pole in front of or near your home and explain why;
  4. In addition to your personal request, ask the city to mandate a process for assessing total RF (radio wave frequency) radiation load from multiple carrier installations of Small Cell Facilities, and implement a unified review of different carrier SCFs (such as is done for Distributed Antenna Systems or DAS), which supports multiple carriers in a single antenna installation.

For more information, call Burien’s Department of Community Development at 206.812-8575.

– Sandra Forman Locklear

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