Verizon Suing Clifton Park Over Cell Tower Application Rejection
Verizon Wireless is suing Clifton Park, New York over what the carrier says is the Saratoga County town’s decision to reject an application for a new cell phone tower. Verizon alleges the town’s zoning board violated state and federal law by rejecting the application based on what the company called “specious grounds,” the Times Union reported.
In the 44-page suit, the carrier said Clifton Park has a “significant gap” in its Verizon Wireless service and that the 100-foot tree-like tower, largely concealed and camouflaged among tall trees, would be the least intrusive way to address that problem. The proposed tower, which includes a 91-foot antenna, would be in a residentially zoned area on Moe Road, some 700 feet away from the nearest home and, according to the suit, would extend cell phone coverage in area.
Verizon Wireless submitted an application for a special use permit for the cell tower to the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals on May 2, 2016. On February 17, the board rejected the application in a 5-2 vote. The lawsuit was filed March 8 according to the Times Union. “The town’s denial was based on specious grounds that are not supported by substantial evidence in the record and equates to a prohibition on the provision of personal wireless services,” Verizon states in the suit. It called the town’s denial “a blatant disregard of controlling New York precedent regarding the applicable standards to be applied when considering zoning approvals for wireless carriers seeking to have a telecommunications facility.”