The city-parish of Baton Rouge, LA and AT&T Mobility are at loggerheads determining who has the final say on 5G cell tower placement. According to BusinessReport.com, the two parties have been unable to resolve their differences and are bringing the issue to the attention of the First Circuit Court of Appeals.
AT&T Mobility initiated the legal action following the revocation in 2020, of a permit the company had been granted in 2018. Under the jurisdiction of the original permit, AT&T began a project to construct 55 small cell units in public right-of-ways within the parish. The placement of a tower on Antioch Road has since been a source of controversy.
Mosely donated the street in the Long Farm Village neighborhood to the city in 2014. The Planned Use Development map submitted by Mosely at that time spelled out the telecommunications would be delivered “via underground conduits and wiring.” Those opposing the cell tower subsequently placed there by AT&T assert that this earlier agreement should have barred AT&T from placing a pole at that location.
AT&T, on the other hand, says it was given the go-ahead by authorities and did nothing wrong. “The city-parish revocation of the permit, more than 18 months after its issuance and only after AT&T has invested tens of thousands of dollars installing its equipment at the subject location, is arbitrary and capricious and violates AT&T’s vested property rights,” the company has stated. AT&T is arguing that the revocation should be rescinded and the tower allowed to stay.
New 5G ordinances passed last December should make these sorts of disputes less likely. “Hopefully, we will avoid issues like this in the future that have caused great concern for property owners and neighborhoods in general,” said Chief Administrative Officer Darryl Gissel, according to BusinessReport.com. The fate of the Antioch Road cell tower has yet to be decided.