City Sued Over “Unreasonably Restricted Construction” of T-Mobile Tower

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Industrial Tower and Wireless LLC (ITW) filed a civil suit in the U.S. District Court in Concord against the city of Dover, claiming officials “unreasonably restricted construction of wireless facilities.” Fosters reported the Zoning Board of Adjustment has twice denied ITW’s application to build a 180-foot tower on privately owned land in order to close a coverage gap on the T-Mobile network.

Although neighboring residents strongly oppose the tower, landowners for the proposed site, Peter and Susan Rousseau, feel otherwise.

 “The tower is going up, whether you like it or not,” Peter Rousseau said. “We’re going to put it up because I need the money to support the farm. Taxes have gone up better than 60 percent since I’ve owned the farm.”  

As for opponents, Abutter Tom Hackett noted, “I have not heard one resident stand up in support of this project saying they have inadequate [cellular] coverage.”

Fosters reported ITW argues the ZBA refused to recognize there was a “significant gap in coverage” which the cell tower could rectify. “The overall effect of all of this is to materially inhibit T-Mobile from providing adequate wireless services in accordance with its FCC license.”  

ITW contends that from the beginning of the application process, “the Dover Planning Department vigorously opposed the request for the variance.” This opposition included “misstatements of fact and law” where the Planning Department staff had “urged the ZBA to deny the variance before the public hearing had even begun,” the suit states.

ITW seeks the court to issue an injunction directing the city to issue the permits necessary for construction. Dover has not yet responded to the lawsuit, according to Fosters.  Comments? Email Us.

January 28, 2019

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