The Hood River County Planning Commission denied the appeal by American Tower Corporation to build a 140-foot cell tower on property between Fairview Drive and Rocky Road.  The company's application had been turned down by Planning Director Michael Benedict during the summer, citing its height and lack of visual compatibility with the surrounding area, while ATC said the tower was needed to reduce cell phone coverage gaps.  Benedict says the federal Telecommunications Act does say if there is a significant gap in coverage then it trumps local ordinances, but the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Act's scenic resource provisions come into play.  Many local residents had told the planning commission they felt the tower was too tall and poorly located.


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