Streamlined permitting for cell towers proposed for Whatcom County


BELLINGHAM - A rule change, if approved, would make it easier for wireless service providers to install new equipment on cell towers in Whatcom County.

Rapid changes in wireless technology call for frequent upgrades to cell towers, according to the county planning department, but rules written in 2000 require a special permit for every upgrade. The changes, which go to a public hearing in front of the county Planning Commission on Thursday, May 22, would allow improvements now deemed routine to happen without a permit.

Antennas and other equipment can be added to a cell tower or array as long as the new installation is not substantially larger than what it replaces, the proposed rule change says.

The planning commission will take comment on the proposed change at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Northwest Annex, 5280 Northwest Drive.

For more information, go to this Whatcom County webpage.

Reach Ralph Schwartz at 360-715-2289 or Read his Politics blog at or get updates on Twitter at @bhampolitics.

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