Judge Rules Quixotic Suit Lacks Standing

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Hoping to drive a wedge between Bay Communications and the Rockland City, ME Council, to bring cell tower construction to a halt, the Rockland Planning Board has instead seen its lawsuit dismissed. As Village Soup – Knox reports, the Maine civic organization has learned that a federal judge reviewing their challenge has ruled against them.

“The Planning Board members’ steadfast adherence to their oaths and their umbrage at the City Council’s and legal counsel’s contumely is appreciable, though ultimately quixotic,” determined U.S. District Court Judge, Lance Walker. “In the first and effectively last analysis, the Planning Board has no standing to undermine the City’s settlement with Bay Communications III because the Planning Board is, at most, a nominal party in this action, lacking standing to sue or be sued and unnecessary to achieving full and final relief.” 

The ruling clears the way for Bay Communications to proceed with plans to erect a cell tower on an empty lot on Camden Street. Although Bay Communications and the City Council had reached an agreement last year, the Planning Board argued that it was not consulted and had zoning concerns and setback issues. The source pointed out that the federal involvement is likely to waive any lingering objections to allow construction to progress.

“This is a huge disappointment for me, the Planning Board, the city’s ordinances, and ultimately the citizens of Rockland,” said Planning Board Chair, Erik Laustsen.

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