County Supreme Court Dismisses Telecom Tower Suit

A case brought before the Chautauqua County Supreme Court was dismissed when the judge overseeing it rejected challenges by Up State Tower Co., an out-of-state corporation, regarding placement of an 180-foot tower, reported The Post-Journal.

“This decision sends a clear message that small villages and towns are not powerless against companies that use litigation as a means to an end,” said Cara Birrittieri, Lakewood mayor. “We are not against cell towers in Lakewood, we are against being forced to put any structure up in an area where our previous village leaders have decided they don’t belong. All we ask is that, as a village, we are allowed to enforce our local laws and have the developers pay the costs the village incurred to review their applications.”   

The case began back in June 2016, when the village adopted a local law limiting the construction of commercial cell towers. This law also put the onus on the telecommunication tower developers for fees incurred when evaluating the necessity of the towers and their proposed heights.  

In February 2017, the Zoning Board of Appeals determined that the tower was not warranted, saying “the structure would have an adverse aesthetic impact on the use of surrounding recreational lands.” Additionally, the ZBA found that Up State Tower failed to show significant coverage gaps in the area which the tower was intended to fill.

The year-long saga ended when Up State Tower Co. filed a lawsuit, according to The Post-Journal.

February 8, 2018   

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