The Sunnyside staff review committee's decision to grant SVID approval for a 120-foot radio tower was upheld by the city's hearing examiner, Gary Cuillier.
In the 16-page decision rendered last week, Cuillier wrote that Sunnyside residents Gary and Cheryl Pira's Feb. 21 appeal of the original decision did "not warrant reversal of the (Sunnyside) staff review committee's decision."
In his decision, Cuillier wrote that he "affirms the staff review committee's decision to issue a conditional use permit to the Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District for a wireless communication facility."
SVID wants to build the tower at 120 S. 11th St. as part of its ongoing plans to upgrade and monitor the canal system.
The Piras appealed the committee's Jan. 18 decision to grant the permit because of several issues they said were not addressed.
Cuillier found that all of the concerns had been addressed, including those related to aesthetics, groundwater issues and property values.
Jim Trull of SVID said the district will start pouring a concrete base for the tower this week. The district will then have to wait 14 days for the concrete to cure before erecting the tower.
If they wish, the Piras could appeal Cuillier's decision to the Sunnyside City Council.
"There's still an opportunity for appeal, but the likelihood of success would seem to be minimal," Trull said of the decision by Cuillier, who has extensive experience in land use case law.
"In a worse case scenario we could use the same base to build a 60-foot tower within regulations," Trull added, "We will finish the base then wait until the appeal process is concluded before we erect the tower."