Inquiring minds want to know reasons for 5G shortcuts

| September 22, 2020 1:00 AM

If you have not heard yet, there has been a Starlink backhaul site installed on Colburn Culver Road. It will receive and transmit communications with SpaceX satellites.

The process surrounding its appearance has prompted many questions. Why did the initial communications from Planning and Zoning repeatedly state that a conditional use permit would be required? Why did P&Z employees have to sign a non-disclosure agreement? When and how were these communications towers interpreted as being similar to passive solar panels? Why did P&Z gleefully offer to fill in the permit application for the applicant? Why did the permit requirement shrink to a building location permit? Why was construction started before any permit was approved? Does a property with a forest exemption allow installation of commercial communications towers, and without notification of the neighboring properties?

Did someone want to avoid a public hearing? Why was this rushed through? And why is the Selle-Samuels sub area plan being held up by the planning department – residents worked diligently for 3 years to create this plan to preserve the rural character of their valley?

Lastly, why does the sign on the fence surrounding these devices state “radio frequency fields at this site may exceed FCC rules for human exposure”? What are the environmental impacts?

Inquiring minds want to know.

THERESA PARKER

Sandpoint