Authored Articles & Publications Jan 22, 2015

Clarification on Cell Towers Dos, Don'ts

BB&K Attorneys Gerry Lederer and Jordan Ferguson Discuss T-Mobile v. Roswell in the Los Angeles Daily Journal

By Gerard L. Lederer and Jordan E. Ferguson

In T-Mobile South v. City of Roswell, decided Jan. 14, the U.S. Supreme Court was asked what Congress meant when it established that "[a]ny decision ... to deny a [cell tower] request .. . shall be in writing and. supported by substantial evidence contained in a written record." 47 U. S. C. Section 332 (c)(7)(E)(iii).

All nine justices agreed that a local government may employ two documents to deny such a request - one stating the denial of a new cell tower application and a second document, such as the minutes of a council meeting, outlining the basis for its decision. The majority of the court established that the two documents must be available at roughly the same time and, for that reason, found against Roswell. But the opinion is far from a loss for local governments.

The facts in the case were not a matter of dispute and the only issue before the court was whether one document or two may meet the obligations of Section 332(c)(7)(B) (iii).

To read the full article in the Daily Journal, which ran Jan. 22, 2015, click here (subscription required).

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