July 29, 2015 — The FCC denied an application for review by Wireless Properties, last week, and affirmed its decision dating back to 2007 to revoke approval of a proposed monopole. In 2007, Wireless Properties requested that the FCC honor a State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) approval of a 150-foot monopole on Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
“We hold that the Section 106 review is not complete because Wireless Properties failed to identify all of the listed or determined eligible historic properties within the proposed tower’s Area of Potential Effects (APE),” the Commission wrote.
The FCC had approved the tower build, initially, but after the public complained and it was discovered that the tower would be located within 1,000 feet of the Bragg Reservation, a unit of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. The application only identified two National Register-listed properties, the Missionary Ridge Historic District and Founders Home at the McCallie School, located within one-half mile of the proposed tower site.
The application that was approved by the FCC, therefore, was incomplete and void, according to Wesley Wright, senior associate, Keller & Heckman law firm.
“The take away for tower owners is to make sure they complete the environmental review process accurately before building a tower,” Wright said. “This decision confirms the importance of accurately completing all environmental reviews before building a tower. Arguably, a tower owner is never safe if the environmental process is not completed properly because the Commission could revoke approval for a tower if the application was incomplete or inaccurate.”