Washoe commissioners approve appeal for cell tower in Incline
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Washoe County commissioners approved an appeal Tuesday that clears the way for a cell tower to be built on residential property in Incline Village.
Despite most of the public comment being against a 45-foot high “stealth monopine” near a popular trailhead on Lake Tahoe’s East Shore, four out of five commissioners felt Verizon Wireless officials did their due diligence and there was no reason to deny the permit. They overturned a decision issued by the county’s Board of Adjustments who denied the permit due to site suitability.
District 1 Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler, who represents Incline Village and Crystal Bay, was the lone dissenting vote.
Verizon officials made a final plea to the commissioners during the Zoom public hearing and it paid off with Board Chair Bob Lucey authoring a motion that Commissioner Vaughn Hartung supported.
The tower will be constructed at 1200 Tunnel Creek Rd., near the start of the East Shore Trail, on property owned by Tunnel Creek Properties LLC.
Many who spoke against the tower didn’t like the location in a residential neighborhood.
“It’s not appropriate in that particular spot and it’s close to a popular hiking trail,” said Incline resident Joyce Bock during public comment.
Jerri Poke, an herbal practitioner in Incline wanted the county to delay a vote and put together a five-year plan.
“They’re littering our city with wires and boxes, no one here wants it except the company,” she said.
But some argued for the tower, which is supposed to resemble a pine tree and will be situated among other similar-sized pines.
“It’s critically needed to improve technology and support,” said Danielle Hughes.
The property owner, Craig Olson, had the final say during public comment and said the community needs better service.
“There are plenty of areas to mountain bike and hike and I don’t want anything that is ugly,” he said. “This is a community need. I’m allowing this because we need the service.”
The new tower is expected to improve service in the Mill Creek and Ponderosa Ranch areas and also along Nevada State Route 28.
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