After the Village Board in Menomonee Falls unanimously rejected a US Cellular proposal for a 120-foot tall tower, the cell company filed a lawsuit against the town, Express News reported. The conditional use permit request was for a tower to go on the Fire Station 3 site near Lilly road, and the Board denied it on December 4, 2017. The Village Board also denied an earlier proposal for Old Falls Village.
Residents and officials openly opposed both proposals. According to former Village president Joe Helm, the National Historic Registry Act permits communities to deny conditional uses, “if it will diminish the integrity of national historic sites.” Helm pointed out that St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and North Hills Country Club are on the historic registry. Other concerns among the board trustees were potential health risks associated with the tower, and how property values could be affected.
According to Express News, attorneys representing US Cellular filed the lawsuit on January 19, 2018. The lawsuit aimed to have the Village Board’s conditional use permit rejection overturned, and to gain approval for another conditional use permit so a tower could be installed on nearby private property (the Wesp site).
On April 23, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Ralph Ramirez ruled in favor of the Village Board during a hearing. Both requests made by US Cellular were dismissed. According to the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access website, Judge Ramirez said, “For reasons set out on the record, the Court will find that USCOC [US Cellular] waived the pursuit of the Wesp site permit. The Court will also find that the board of trustees decision will stand at this time.”
In a statement, US Cellular said, “We are disappointed in the court’s decision, and we are currently evaluating our appellate options. Without a suitable tower location, our ability to serve the Menomonee Falls area could be seriously compromised.” Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald said the Village was pleased with the outcome.
May 22, 2019