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Published on Friday, March 7, 2014

Amended wireless facilities permitting bill passes Senate

As we noted in a previous article SHB 2175 has had a strange history in that it was originally introduced in the House with substantially different content and then after the public hearing it was amended in committee to address permitting issues that are contained in the current version of the bill. Then, before anyone had realized what happened it passed unanimously out of the House. As such, the hearing in the Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee on February 26 was the first real opportunity to address the current content of the bill in a public hearing. AWC testified with concerns.

Since then more cities reviewed the bill and shared concerns with their Senators. On March 6 the Senate, after adopting a striking amendment, passed the bill on a vote of 34-15. The amendment addresses some of the concerns that had been expressed by cities by clarifying that the requirement to allow for consolidated permitting of wireless facilities applies only to “small cell networks” in single jurisdictions. You can read the striking amendment here.

Since the bill was amended in the Senate the bill will now head back to the House for concurrence. Cities that still have concerns with this bill should share those concerns with your House members.