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Facebook’s plan for an undersea fiber optic cable on Oregon coast approved, contested

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    TILLAMOOK COUNTY, OR (KPTV) — Homeowners along the Oregon Coast are fighting the imminent arrival of a tech giant on their shores.

Facebook recently bought a parcel of beachfront property in Tierra Del Mar, an unincorporated community south of Tillamook, from former Oregon Ducks and NFL quarterback Joey Harrington, and hopes to gain approval to install a undersea fiberoptic cable there.

The proposal was approved after deliberation by the Tillamook County Planning Commission.

That decision was upheld last week by a 2-1 vote of the Tillamook County Board of Commissioners.

“The county is saying we think it’s more important for a corporate interest to be able to come onto this property and do this than to value that the entire community said no,” said Lynnae Rutledge, one of several homeowners to appeal the decision to the board.

Rutledge said she and her neighbors are concerned about the heavy equipment and deep drilling required to bring the cable to shore.

“This is going to bring in huge pieces of industrial equipment,” said Rutledge. “It’s going to have vibration, which could impact people’s property. Their foundations. Their septic systems. Our groundwater.”

In its permit application, the company tasked with installing the cable, Edge Cable Holdings, doesn’t address potential impacts to neighboring properties, but said there will be no permanent impacts to wetlands or waters of the United States.

The company does acknowledge there are several threatened or endangered species in the area that could be affected by construction.

Asked for comment on the board’s decision, a county employee said there would be no public comment until after the appeals process has been completed.

Neighbors can still file an appeal with the state’s Land Use Board of Appeals.

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