Second image: September 2010 – Fourmile fire rages in Boulder, Colorado foothills. Within a week, 6,181 acres had been consumed along with 169 homes in what was the most expensive wildfire in Colorado’s history. Image courtesy Scott Klumb, SMK Media Production LLC .
Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District tells County:
“[Atlas Tower] has failed to address safety issues such as, but not limited to, increased risk of wildfire and interference with evacuation procedures.”
Boulder County’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan
This cell tower project is inconsistent with Boulder’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan developed after the Fourmile Fire.
- To save thousands of residents the pain and suffering associated with losing their home; their possessions; their loved ones; and their sense of place, security, and community
- To save hundreds of millions of dollars in property losses, environmental damages, firefighting costs, restoration expenses, infrastructure costs, and other financial impacts associated with catastrophic wildfire
- To unite all communities of Boulder County — residents of the mountains and the plains — in a collaborative effort to reduce the negative impacts of wildfire”
Increasing the Risk of Fire in a Forested Community
Recent peer-reviewed studies conclusively show that the presence of a cell tower significantly increases lightning strikes within a kilometer of the tower. This impacts not just Pine Brook Hills and Sunshine neighborhoods but all foothills communities to which a fire could spread.
The cell tower site is immediately adjacent to the primary evacuation route for hundreds of residents in Upper Pine Brook Hills, as shown on Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District’s evacuation map below. This evacuation route is a single lane, dirt road leading to Sunshine Canyon Drive from Bristlecone Way. Adding a fire hazard to this location is irrational and potentially catastrophic to residents.
“Past wildfires — most notably the 2010 Fourmile Canyon Fire, which burned 6,181 acres and destroyed 169 homes — have dramatically changed the lives of hundreds of residents and fundamentally altered the fabric of numerous communities in Boulder County. People now are aware of the risks associated with wildfire. This is Boulder County’s plan for turning increased awareness into sustained action.”
Write a Letter to the Planning Commission
Contact Boulder County
Sign Our Petition
County Meets with Citizens
Planning Department leaders held a video conference with citizens as requested in the March 5 community letter. They listened to concerns about Atlas Tower's misconduct and the many risks to the community. The County agreed to re-notify the community when Atlas Tower submits further information.
Application Put on Hold
Atlas Tower requested that Boulder County place its cell tower application on hold to enable it to address the numerous deficiencies and misrepresentations uncovered in its application. This is an important first victory for the community but the struggle is far from over. The County estimates that only 106 days will remain on the FCC’s “shot clock” once the hold is lifted. This means that the County will have to reach a decision within that time frame or risk automatic approval of the cell tower by the FCC. Please don’t wait for the hold to be lifted.
Safety Issues Raised
Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District tells County "[Atlas Tower] has failed to address safety issues such as, but not limited to, increased risk of wildfire and interference with evacuation procedures."
Neighbors Send Letter to Atlas Tower Owners - Boulder Residents Randi & Nathan Foster - No Response
"We write to appeal to you as our neighbors . . . . We believe that a fair conclusion to be drawn from what we now know about this project is that it was pursued without sufficient consideration of vital information." Atlas Tower and its owners provided no response.
Landowner and Atlas Tower Hold Community Meeting - Promises Unmet
Landowner apologized to neighbors claiming to be unaware of relative height differences between the water tank and trees compared to the cell tower. Atlas Tower's lawyer refuted that Landowner was unaware of height differences and promised to provide numerous items of additional information to neighbors but failed to deliver.
Public Health Water Quality Sends Referral
Boulder's various departments have begun signing off on the project.
Referred to Other County Agencies
Boulder County sent the application to departments for their review and recommendations. These include Parks, Wildfire, Transportation, Building Division, DRSM, and Public Health Water Quality.
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