Letters to the editor

For those of you following the saga of Tierra Del Mar v. Facebook, you know that this endeavor has been a long process and is probably far from over.

At the September Planning Commission Meeting we heard from the people representing Facebook that the Industrial HDD Submarine Fiber Optic Cable drilling and installation would be a good thing for the community and residents of Tierra Del Mar.

We were told that the process of the drilling and installation would be less bothersome than a house being constructed, that afterward the lot would be restored to original if not better condition, that the noise would be nominal and that, when finished there would only be a few trucks a few times a year to come for maintenance.

Facebook would be the sole owner and user of the cable and that somehow this translates into a benefit for the health, safety, and welfare for Tierra Del Mar as a public utility facility.

We, the residents of Tierra Del Mar beg to differ. Au contraire.

First and foremost, Facebook is not a public utility in any sense of the word. They are a private industry and this cable is being done to further their own corporate interests and profit. There is no direct benefit to the residents of TDM or for the residents of Tillamook County. There is no example of Similar Use. At the first meeting I attended in February at the Kiwanda Center the gentleman from SubCom who had just finished the Hermosa Beach project in California, admitted that they had never done a cable landing in a residential neighborhood and that they had never used noise barriers before. What does that tell us? I think if they need noise barriers they’re too close to neighboring homes or buildings.

SubCom has never done a project like the one they are proposing for Facebook on Lot 3200. As Mr. Affolter said in his letter, “RR-2 is a misnomer with respect to the density of the development within that community,” meaning Tierra Del Mar. When you look at the pictures online and on YouTube that show these types of projects the equipment is always depicted in wide open spaces with no development on either side. After you figure in the dimensions of the equipment involved it adds up to 4500 square feet.

That’s just for the equipment without any trucks or space to maneuver fork lifts. It means that Lot 3200 is too small and given that with all of the equipment on site, at best . at BEST, there will be 25’ of clearance from neighboring homes.

Now, as it turns out, there are cables that come ashore on residentially zoned property in Coos County. One of the FB representatives calls the Coos County project “the Poster Child” for submarine fiber optic cables on residential property. For once, I agree with them. The Coos County projects are on adjacent 5 acre parcels owned by Google, AT&T, and an outfit called Level 3 Communications LLC. You read that right - 5 ACRE PARCELS. All the lots down in Coos are zoned RR5 - 5 acres. So the closest private residence is at least .25 miles away. A little more than the 25 feet from the houses in Tierra Del Mar. If you do a Google Map search of the Coos Co. areas, you see that the property is mostly forested and not many houses nearby.

Quite the difference from the planned TDM project on 2/3 of an acre and houses all around. So, yes to the Poster Child concept. If submarine cables are to make landfall on residential property (and I am still against it) then a 5 acre property should be the minimum size!

The real issue here, in addition to what I have mentioned above is that permitting the application and use for an industrial cable landing sets a precedent in zoning manipulation that will change our beautiful coast forever. If Facebook can construct a cable landing in a residential neighborhood zoned RR2 (and none of the lots in TDM come close to 2 acres) they can construct one on any other residentially zoned lot that is less than 2 acres. It would make sense that they do it on another vacant homesite two doors to the south of Lot 3200. It’s close and it would be convenient if not for Facebook then for any other cable company who want to hook up to the Microsoft Landing site up the hill on Sandlake Road.

Oregon is well known for welcoming and wanting submarine cables for a variety of economic reasons. But there should not be a cart blanche invitation to open our shores to locations that adversely affect ocean communities. The locations should be as regulated as the rest of the cable industry. So this is not just a case of “not in our back

yard” - it should be a case of not in anyone’s back yard. That is certainly the case in

Coos County, where the “Poster Child” submarine cable made landfall. If there are no restrictions on type of lot or size of lot, it will literally mean, “There Goes The Neighborhood.”

Please join the residents of Tierra Del Mar in opposing the Facebook/Edge Cable LLC permit.

Patricia Rogers, Tierra Del Mar

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