Contributor Sara Peterson writes in:
AT&T Mobile filed a notice of appeal this week with the Minnesota Court of Appeals in the dispute over their proposed 450-foot cell tower that would be visible from portions of the BWCA. AT&T attorneys apparently plan to argue that the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act (MERA) does not preserve views from within the wilderness area to points outside, and may not apply to scenic and esthetic resources owned by the federal government. AT&T also plans to argue that Hennepin County Judge Philip Bush erred in concluding that the proposed tower was likely to adversely affect the BWCA and that the taller tower was not required for public safety.
Star Tribune reporter Abby Simons discusses the appeal in the Metro Section of the Star Tribune. In an interesting parallel, the Star Tribune also reports this morning that AT&T won approval on Tuesday to build a 110-foot tall “stealth” cell tower near Afton State Park. AT&T agreed to design the tower as a “monopine” tower considered to have better camouflage and thus less impact on the scenic views from the park. Star Tribune reporter Anthony Lonetree quoted the county’s senior planner as saying that “AT&T was flexible and understood the concerns” at the Washington County Planning Advisory Commission hearing on AT&T’s conditional use permit on Tuesday night, where the commission granted approval of the “monopine” tower.
Perhaps a 300-foot canoe paddle outside the BWCA is next?