VICTORY! together, we WON!
We are thrilled to announce that the temporary tower at the park was removed in November 2017, the playfield has been restored, and we expect the lease to be cancelled soon.
This good news follows June's good news, when the Independent Towers' lawsuit for a permanent industrial 80-foot cell-tower project at the playfield in Fairweather was dismissed by the federal judge, with agreement of all parties, including Independent Towers, T-Mobile, RespectMedina, and the City of Medina.
For the first time ever in Medina's history, Medina residents, along with RespectMedina and many allies, took to court to join the defense of the City's laws. We were successful -- each and every time -- in protecting Fairweather Park & Nature Preserve, against the odds and through seemingly insurmountable legal and other challenges. This landmark victory preserves Fairweather Park & Nature Preserve for today and future generations.
As an original community advocate three years ago for protecting Medina’s Fairweather Park and Nature Preserve, I couldn’t be more proud that the efforts of Medina residents and RespectMedina, through their determined advocacy to protect Fairweather Park and Nature Preserve, have finally paid off in full.
As an attorney, and as a member of the Medina City Council since January 2016, I remain committed to the rule of law and good public policy, and, therefore, I am thankful that T-Mobile advanced a feasible, code-compliant solution outside the park.
Congratulations to each of you and the hundreds of residents and allies who fought alongside us.
Historical posts and information: Read historical posts and information below
UPDATE: More good news. RespectMedina and hundreds of Medina residents have been working overtime for almost 24 months, donating more than 3,500 hours, to Save Medina's Parks. Together, we have won every legal battle so far, and now we have more good news: The parties to the litigation requested and the judge agreed that the T-Mobile lawsuit could be paused, so that the parties can try to reach a settlement. (\Update: On April 8, 2016, the judge extended the "stay" to December 15, 2016.) We are hopeful that by working together in good faith we can find a positive solution. (No one, in any community, should have to choose between business and nature. Medina wants T-Mobile in their community, but no community should have to sacrifice its parks.) There are numerous feasible alternatives, outside of Medina's neighborhood parks -- parks should be the last option for cell tower equipment, not the first. We will keep you updated. (Thanks for the support and learnings from the other communities who are wrestling with the same issues, in Western Washington, Eastern Washington, Oregon, California, Tennessee, and more.) The next report to the judge is due by April 14, 2016.
- Medina residents and RespectMedina keep winning - Judge denies hall-pass demanded by T-Mobile. At the end of August 2015, the court refused the "settlement" among wireless giant T-Mobile, its billionaire cell-tower landlord (Independent Towers, now owned by Vertical Bridge), and the City of Medina. They asked the judge for a Big Wireless hall pass to skip all the laws and normal permitting processes. They wanted the judge to ignore the law and approve a permanent industrial 80-foot cell-tower project at the playfield in Fairweather Park -- a project that violates nearly all of our city's important land use laws -- and he refused. Judge Lasnik stated in his ruling, "While the City, like any other defendant, is free to settle a suit rather than prolong the litigation, it may not do so in a way that violates its own ordinances and zoning regulations", which, he noted, "are enacted for the benefit of the public." We agree with the judge: T-Mobile says it needs a new wireless facility. Now all it has to do is prove it.
We have tried repeatedly to negotiate reasonable solutions with them -- there are newer, smaller technologies and equipment that would provide cell service while preserving the integrity of our parks and not intruding upon the familes near SR-520 (there's no reason to intrude upon the homes of the neighbors to the south of SR-520) -- but they refused to be reasonable and abruptly cut off negotiations. Now, T-Mobile and its cell-tower landlord (Independent Towers, now owned by Vertical Bridge) are headed back to court, and it is clear they will stop at nothing to get their pre-ordained cell-tower project at their pre-ordained location. You can count on us meeting them in court to vigorously defend our important land use laws and our parks and natural areas. Please donate now to help us keep winning!
- Judge Lasnik's ruling in favor of Medina residents and RespectMedina was recently featured in Law School Dean Salkin's Law of the Land blog.
- Local media are paying attention to the fight for our parks -
- Here's the story KIRO 7 News ran (must watch): Medina group fights to keep 80-foot cell tower out of city playfield
- Here's the story The Seattle Times ran (must read this - wow!): Medina residents fighting proposed cellphone tower
- Here's the story KING TV ran (must watch this): Medina residents angry about proposed cell tower in park.
- And here's a recent blog post, "T-Mobile tells consumers T-Mobile’s coverage in Medina is “Excellent”, but tells judge its coverage is horrible". It's a must-read!
- WHAT'S NEXT? After we save Fairweather Park & Nature Preserve, we will continue with our mission of maintaining and enhancing Medina's parks and natural areas. We'd love to hear from you: What should be our next pro-park project(s)? Write firstname.lastname@example.org
JoinYour Pro-Park, Pro-Technology Neighbors
TELL BIG WIRELESS TO MOVE
OUT OF MEDINA'S PARKS & BACK ONTO SR-520
(Historical post): MEDINA'S PARKS ARE AT RISK RIGHT NOW
Wireless giant T-Mobile's litigators and other Big Wireless litigators are suing now in federal court for special permission for permanent industrial-sized cell tower sites in Medina's park, even though there are many viable, less-intrusive locations outside our neighborhood parks, including utility poles, the SR- 520 highway right-of-way, and commercial buildings.
(Historical post): WHY OUR PARKS COULD BE DESTROYED
If the Big Wireless litigators win, then under federal law Medina will be powerless to stop the wireless giants, and all of Medina's parks will be at risk of industrial blight. Our parks and our community's life-scape will be needlessly and irreparably disrupted, contaminated and stigmatized. And T-Mobile and its cell-tower landlord (Independent Towers, now owned by Vertical Bridge) and the City are using every option at their disposal to push through their cell-tower project, instead of simply choosing newer smaller technologies, and smarter locations.
BOTTOM LINE: Medina's parks should be the LAST option for siting industrial wireless infrastructure, not the first.
It's Common Sense.
Cell Towers on 520,
Not on Parks.
(Historical post): MEDINA RESIDENTS WON'T BE BULLIED - HELP US STAND UP FOR PARKS NOW!
T-Mobile, its cell-tower-company landlord (Independent Towers, now owned by Vertical Bridge), and the City are using every option at their disposal to push their 80-foot cell-tower project through. On May 11, 2015, despite hundreds of Medina residents telling T-Mobile and the City to Save Our Parks, the City Council voted 6-0 against Saving Our Parks. Since then, the City, motivated by the potential lease revenue of about $2500 a month, has doubled-down on its efforts to cut a special deal for itself, wireless giant T-Mobile, and T-Mobile's tower-company landlord, Independent Towers/Vertical Bridge. Their plan for a permanent 80-foot cell tower and huge six-carrier cement equipment bunker in the middle of Fairweather Park's grassy playfield violates the city's own laws, and could open the park to multiple towers, forever ruining Fairweather Park.
- Public parks aren't piggy banks, and destroying Medina's parks is wrong.
- Even the City, or, more appropriately, especially the City, must comply with its own permitting processes and land use codes.
Medina residents and RespectMedina won't be co-opted, bullied or scared, and we won't stand by while our neighborhood park is illegitimately converted into permanent industrial sites with 80-foot (or higher) cell towers. Help us say no to their bullying. We deserve smarter, more respectful, more responsible wireless siting solutions. Please stand with us, now, to Save Our Parks.
RESPECTMedina + You = Impact
Big Wireless might have hundreds of billions of dollars and armies of attorneys and lobbyists, but we hadyou. And, together, we had a big impact.
With your help and support, our community coalition was that not-so-small group of thoughtful, committed people who change the world (with thanks to Margaret Mead). Whether you helped raise awareness, volunteered your time, or made a financial contribution, we are proud to be your neighbor.