18-Month Tower Litigation Might End In New Year

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UPDATE  In 2018, Homeland Towers and Verizon Wireless filed a lawsuit against Nelsonville, NY after the village denied a 110-foot tower project. The companies argued that the village violated federal telecommunications law by denying the permit for the tower, reported the Highlands Current.

Now, the village is considering a settlement after months of negotiation. 

The settlement outlines the allotment of a 95-foot-tall tower camouflaged as a fir tree on private land on Rockledge Road, above the Cold Spring Cemetery, per the Current. The draft agreement also directs the telecoms to pay the village $35,758 for expenses incurred during the tower review process.

Other stipulations of the settlement outline that the village and local emergency services can place three antennas on the tower at no charge; tower noise pollution will be minimized; plus tower companies will create a $30,000 fund to help neighbors landscape their properties. Neighbors tapping into it, however, must agree not to bring future claims against the tower. 

According to the Current, initially, the Zoning Board of Appeals claimed the telecoms failed to demonstrate a significant need for the tower. The ZBA also said the structure would violate zoning law by detracting from the area’s scenic and historical attributes. These reasons for rejection brought on the lawsuit by Homeland and Verizon.

The Village Board scheduled a public forum to discuss the proposal. If approved, the settlement would end the legal fight between the village and telecoms.

January 7, 2020   

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