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Radio India station 1600AM, which operates out of Surrey but is transmitted from Blaine, Wash., is heard clearly in Richmond. The CRTC says the station is circumventing Canadian content laws.John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

In a victory for residents in Delta, B.C. and Point Roberts, Washington opposed to a proposal to build radio transmission towers in Point Roberts, the Whatcom County Hearing Examiner has issued a surprise decision, rejecting the proposal.

"After a thorough review of the pleadings, supporting documents, Comprehensive Plan, Whatcom County Zoning Ordinance, and Case Law, I have decided I am going to grant the Motion to Deny the Application," wrote Michael Bobbink in a brief memorandum announcing the cancellation of upcoming hearings in the matter.

BBC Broadcasting Inc. had been seeking to build five transmission towers of about 45 metres on McKenzie Way in Point Roberts, close to the Tsawwassen border. In his decision, Mr. Bobbink indicated that the requested zoning conditional use permit application to allow BBC Broadcasting to construct the towers "must be denied."

BBC Broadcasting has had an arrangement with radio station Sher-E Punjab, which has been broadcasting out of studios in Richmond, B.C. but transmitting its signal from Ferndale, Washington.

Five days had been set aside for hearings beginning Oct 27.

"This is stunning news," said a delighted Gail Neff Bell, a Tsawwassen resident and member of the Cross-Border Coalition to Stop the Radio Towers. "People were expecting to have to go through a gruelling week of testimony, raising thousands of dollars more money to pay for the lawyers and the expert witnesses, with the expectation that that might not be the end of it."

Once Mr. Bobbink issues his report, parties wishing to appeal the decision to the Whatcom County council have ten calendar days to do so, according to his office.

Mr. Bobbink was not available for an interview on Tuesday; he is working on his full decision denying the application, which is expected to be released sometime next week.