July 13, 2014 — PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association last week urged the U.S. Supreme Court to require localities to provide an explanation when a tower site application is denied.
In an amicus curiae brief submitted in support of T-Mobile in the case of T-Mobile South LLC v. City of Roswell, Georgia, PCIA petitioned the court to reverse the 11th Circuit’s ruling, which allowed localities to deny tower site zoning applications without an accompanying explanation.
In his keynote at the AGL Conference, June 19, in Washington, D.C., Jonathan Adelstein, president and CEO of PCIA, applauded the Supreme Court for taking up another zoning process case. “Last year, the Supreme Court upheld the FCC’s zoning approval shot clock, which was a great outcome for us,” he said. “And this year they’re going to decide whether a local government has to explain in writing why it does a denial, not just write ‘NO’ on a postcard, which is basically what the 11th Circuit Court said was OK.”
PCIA called on the Supreme Court to adopt the approach used in a majority of federal circuit courts in enforcing the Telecom Act’s provision requiring localities to issue a written explanation based on substantial evidence in the denial of a wireless siting application.
“The majority approach is the only sensible reading of the statute. The alternative advanced by the 11th Circuit —written denials that lack any explanation —forces providers and reviewing courts to conduct a scavenger hunt through the record in search of the reasons for denial. The result is more time-consuming litigation and increased costs, contrary to the statute and national broadband priorities,” PCIA wrote.