Alltel Communications, on behalf of Verizon Wireless, is suing the city of Jackson after the City Council opposed zoning for a 150-foot tower project in October, reported the Clarion Ledger. The denial came after community representatives spoke out in opposition to the project.
Residents claim the tower will be an “eyesore” and should be camouflaged to look like a church steeple, a monument, or a tree.
The proposed location for the tower is “the gateway to south Jackson,” according to Councilman Aaron Banks.
“This is the first impression many people will have when they travel into south Jackson, not to mention the number of residents that live here that will have to drive by a 150-foot tower. I believe there’s a better alternative,” Banks added.
Alltel Communications is trying to fill a significant gap in coverage in the area, so they took the matter to the U.S. District Court, filing a lawsuit against the city. Alltel claims the company followed all city ordinances and was unlawfully denied the use permit to construct the tower, per the Ledger.
In response, the city’s legal department urged the council to sign off on a settlement with Verizon, but it was voted down. Councilman Ashby Foote, who voted in favor of the use permit, said the opponents to the cell tower did not “make a case” that fits with the FCC guidelines, which is a critical premise of the company’s lawsuit.
December 12, 2019