Community News

The City’s effort to block T-Mobile from building a 116 foot cell tower on church property has hit another setback.

Federal District Court judge Richard Jones has rejected the city’s motion to reconsider his earlier decision allowing T-Mobile to build a cell tower on the grounds of the United Methodist Church. The judge’s earlier ruling ordered the city to give T-Mobile a conditional user permit for the proposed tower, overruling the City Council’s action which rejected the permit.

The current court ruling, which came on Friday, said that nothing has changed since the original ruling and there’s no reason to modify it. The judge also turned down the City’s request to stay the original ruling.

Judge Jones said the City has failed to show that there is a better location for T-Mobile’s proposed monopole tower.

City Attorney Ian Munce told the City Council at their regular Monday meeting that the rulings are not good news for the city. He said it may be that the only option open to the City would be to launch an expensive appeal.

The ruling allowing the T-Mobile tower is based, at least in part, on a three-judge opinion from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in another case. That case is now under review by the full appeals court and could affect the T-Mobile case before the city.

Meanwhile, the City Council voted four-to-two not to send a letter to the church asking to explain that why the Conditional Use Permit the city issued for construction of the church in a residential zone doesn’t include the proposed T-Mobile tower.

COVID-19 Cases in Skagit County

3,618 Confirmed Skagit Cases (+24)
315 Cases in ZIP 98221 (+0)

221 Hospitalizations (+4)
46 Deaths (+0)

281,258 Confirmed Cases Statewide (+10,837)
16,848 Hospitalizations (+206)

3,940 Deaths Statewide (+0)

Updated 9:00 pm January 20, 2021.

Our Coronavirus page is updated each morning.

County Map: Confirmed COVID-19 cases by ZIP code in Skagit County. Updated weekly.

Sources: Skagit County Public Health, Washington State Department of Health, New York Times

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