UPDATE MAY 17: In just two days, over 50 homeowners signed on to the following letter complaining of Atlas Tower’s deliberate misrepresentations:
Please review our attached letter. We ask that you share it on our behalf with the appropriate County Legal Counsel, staff members for the Land Use Planning Commission, and staff members for the Board of County Commissioners, with a cc to us. We gathered these signatures in just a few days and we are confident that many other members of the community would share these same views if asked.
We ask for an opportunity to meet in person with you and the assigned County Legal Counsel once you have had a chance to review our request.
As our letter explains, we view Atlas Tower’s misconduct as a serious abuse of the County’s special use permitting process, in that they sought to harm us by means of deceit. As you know, our Land Use Code states: “[t]he purposes of the County Planning Act shall be considered to be, without limitation . . . promotion of the health, safety, morals, convenience, order, prosperity or welfare of the present and future inhabitants of the County . . . .” Section 1-300(B) (emphasis added).
Moreover, Section 1-900, requires that: “A. The following principles shall be used in interpreting this Code. (1) The provisions of this Code shall be regarded as the minimum requirements for the protection of the public health, safety and general welfare. This Code shall therefore be regarded as remedial and shall be liberally construed to further its underlying purposes.” (Emphasis added).We believe that the only way for the County to protect our health, safety, prosperity and welfare, all of which Atlas Tower sought to undermine by means of deceit and falsification, is to dismiss their Application at this time, as our letter requests.
This is the only fair and just remedy in response to the Applicant’s serious abuse of the special use permitting process, and one that should also serve to deter similar misconduct by others in the future.
We look forward to the opportunity to meet in the near future.
March 5, 2020
Boulder County Commissioners
Boulder County Planning Commissioners
Dale Case, Director, Community Planning & Permitting
Kim Sanchez, Deputy Director, Community Planning & Permitting
Jean Lorraine Ott, Planner II, Community Planning & Permitting
Ben Pearlman, Boulder County Attorney
Delivered Via Email
RE: Special Use Permit Application Docket # SU-20-0001, Atlas Tower Application to Erect
Telecommunications Tower at 250 Bristlecone Way
Dear Honorable Commissioners and Community Planning & Permitting Department:
As neighbors who own homes and property near the proposed site of this cell tower project, we write to ask that Boulder County deny the Application at this time without giving Atlas Tower an opportunity to cure deficiencies in their submittal based on a plethora of false and misleading statements.
The original Atlas Tower application is filled with such an extensive and broad-ranging list of misdirects, omissions, and material misrepresentations that it should give anyone pause. And, it leads to natural skepticism about the legitimacy of the entire document. Moreover, we note that:
- The misdirects, omissions, and misrepresentations in the Application always favor Atlas Tower;
- This proposal has been in the works since 2016 according to the landowners, thus Atlas Tower has had more than sufficient time to create an accurate application; and
- The entirety of Atlas Tower’s business model is to build towers, which naturally requires crafting applications to obtain approval for land use and building permits. It is central to the viability of their business.
Thus, it strains credulity in the extreme to believe that the Application deficiencies are innocent or accidental. Therefore, to reward them an opportunity to resubmit their application is to reward bad behavior. Just as importantly, a resubmission of their application will serve no purpose because they simply cannot change that an unacceptable visual impact exists due to the proposed 89’ to 109’ height of the tower, or that an additional fire hazard exists, or that their certification was untruthful.
It is also important to reflect on the magnitude of several of the deficiencies. The Application:
- Downplays the visual impact numerous times, claiming that an 89’ “monopine” would be camouflaged behind the water tank and trees, when in fact the water tank is only 30’ above ground level, and the surrounding trees are only 40’ high.
- Omits an evidence-based demonstration of coverage need and benefit. As Atlas is a cell tower company, this omission is hugely problematic.
- Includes an Alternative Site Analysis Report which is disingenuous at best, given that the alternative site owners would never allow towers on their properties.
- Falsely claims to have the support of the Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District (BMFPD) and the Pine Brook Hills Homeowners Association.
- Omits any consideration of the increased fire risk due to the tower. This is extremely worrisome as the proposed tower would be in a High-Risk Fire Zone – and located immediately adjacent to the primary evacuation route for dozens of homes that have only two emergency egress routes.
Any one of these deficiencies could be viewed individually as an honest mistake. Taken as a whole, it presents a pattern of deception that is impossible to ignore.
These multiple misrepresentations are in direct conflict with the Certification clause signed by the Applicant on Page 1 of the Application. Here, the applicant assured the veracity of the Application, promising the County and the public that the information submitted is “true and correct” to the best of their knowledge.
Thus, we request that Boulder County deny SU-20-0001 outright and not provide Atlas Tower with the opportunity to remedy the deficiencies in their Application. This is the only justifiable outcome in this egregious case where the Applicant abused the process to harm the public health, safety and general welfare that the Land Use Code exists to protect.
cc: Mike Powers
Atlas Tower 1, LLC