After Tower Denial Goes to Court, Marquette Gets a New Monopole

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In May of last year, the city of Marquette (MI) vetoed an application for a 40-foot Verizon monopole, saying the tower did not meet the intent and requirements of the city’s land development code. Verizon took the case to the District Court of Western Michigan in June, declaring the city violated local codes by failing to support their denial of the application with substantial evidence and by prohibiting the provision of personal wireless services. The carrier’s appointed law firm, Husch Blackwell, asked that all approvals necessary for zoning, construction and operation of the telecommunications tower be granted.

The tower developer for Verizon, DRA Properties, LLC, said Verizon network engineers produced evidence of a gap in coverage and capacity during the City of Marquette’s public hearing process. Doug Dolan of DRA told Inside Towers, the site was chosen because it was behind a warehouse in an industrially-zoned parcel of land, and the least intrusive location in the search area.

The Court requested settlement discussions between Verizon and the City of Marquette, which resulted in an agreement to permit the cell tower as applied. In October, a U.S. Magistrate Judge ordered the case be dismissed without prejudice. The monopole was topped off in December (see photo) and is now in operation, according to Dolan.

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