Tower Approved After Four Years, A Lawsuit And An Appeal

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UPDATE This week, the Lakewood Board of Trustees (NY) approved the construction of a 180-foot monopole on the Fire Department grounds, reported The Post-Journal. This decision comes after years of legal disputes between the village and Upstate Tower Company LLC over the right to build a tower. “And so ends a chapter for the village…hopefully,” said Trustee Ellen Barnes.  

 The tower saga began in 2016, when the village adopted a local law limiting the construction of commercial cell towers. Then in 2017, the Zoning Board of Appeals denied Upstate Tower’s application for a 180-foot tower, so the company filed a lawsuit. According to The Post-Journal, a Federal District Judge granted summary judgment in favor of the telecom, and the board appealed. The notice of appeal was intended to allow the village an opportunity, “to ensure that its interests in the matter were clear and secure before making any decisions.”   

Now, with the tower finally approved, there are some stipulations mandated by the town. According to village attorney John Lamancuso, the settlement agreement with Upstate Tower will allow the village to place public safety antennas on the tower in the future. “Hopefully, it will happen,” Barnes said of the safety antennas. “It will help firemen and policemen be able to hear their portables inside buildings with the new radios.”

 The Board of Trustees also passed a new municipal zoning law to establish a fee structure and aesthetic standards for 5G small cells reported The Post-Journal. In a letter to the mayor, Matthew Bourke, Junior Planner for the Chautauqua County Division of Planning and Community Development, wrote, “We applaud the village for being proactive in regulating small wireless facilities.”

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