In February of 2010 T-mobile wanted to erect a 108 ft cell tower in the City of Roswell Georgia. The City held a meeting, and voted to deny the application. They sent T mobile the denial, and later sent the reasons for denial in the form of minutes of that meeting. T-Mobile sued claiming they were not given substantial reasons for denial. On January 14, 2015, The Supreme Court agreed with T-mobile that adequate written response must be given.
Georgia State University constitutional law professor Eric Segall states this case is important.”The question is: Did Congress and can Congress as a matter of federal law require local towns and cities to give reasons for its denial of these kinds of permits? That raises the question of federalism, which is the appropriate relationship between the state and federal governments. We all have a stake in what that relationship is.”
“There’s a real significant question at the bottom of this case, which is both should and can Congress dictate to local towns and cities how they go about their business?” Georgia State University constitutional law professor Eric Segall
In his dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Roberts remarks that
“cell service providers are not Mom and Pop operations,” “a
telecommunications company is no babe in the legal woods,” and “[T-Mobile is] a sophisticated, well-lawyered company” (Roberts thinks the Court went too far in requiring a local government to issue the reasons for its written denial of a cell tower contemporaneously with that written
Justice Alito writes in a concurring opinion that “Nothing we say today
should be read to suggest that when a locality has erred, the inevitable
remedy is that a tower must be built.”
Is it reaching too far to infer that the Supreme Court Justices might not
look too kindly on a cell tower being place in their own back yards?