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Sprint PCS Sues Franklin Lakes, N.J., over Denial of Cellular Tower

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by larry, Apr 25, 2002.

  1. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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  2. IdiOTeQnoLogY

    IdiOTeQnoLogY Bronze Senior Member
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    that town is right next to where i grew up lol a very very wealthy town so sprint is going to have a tough one there unfortunately
     
  3. Gman

    Gman Senior Member
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    I'm thinking the tower denial is going to cost the borough a pretty penny in court. It sounds like they stretched it out as long as they could also. I'm glad to see that SPCS takes it to court. If the court decides it was justified, then fine. If not , SPCS should get their tower rights and collect their court costs.

    G.
     
  4. BillRadio

    BillRadio Wireless Consultant
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    Sprint PCS sued and lost in Jefferson County, Colorado. No big deal. It just meant that Sprint had to rent space on Verizon's tower. I can't believe it was cheaper to go to court than just rent the tower space.

    -Bill Radio
     
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  5. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Sprint has also won many cases in court. [​IMG] Let's hope for another this time.
     
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    My wife went to Ramapo HIgh School. Every other resident of Franklin Lakes is an attorney. I wouldn't bet against them in this case. And spending a few hundred grand to fight this wouldn't even phase them..

    And I'm familiar with this case. While the town's ordinance probably is restrictive -- and I'm sure deliberatly so -- where they want to put this tower on the high school grounds is just stupid. Like right in the middle of the campus....
     
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    People want good coverage but they don't want cell towers. They can't have it both ways.
     
  8. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Is Sprint really helping themselves by taking such an adversarial approach to the community. So they get their tower, but in the town's eyes they are dirt. Sure it may help commuters not living in the town (I don't know, I don't live around there), but I have to agree that given public concerns, Sprint showed no concern by wanting to put it where children spend a lot of time. Really poor PR if you ask me, but then I've never thought Sprint's PR was any good anyway.
     
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    In the same vein, this from our local fishwrap.

    I'm familiar with this area. I commute by it every day. Three other buildings in the immediate vacinity have antennas -- whether cell or other types -- on their roofs.
    His opposition is doubtless typical of the NIMBY's among us......

    http://www.newstimes.com/cgi-bin/dbs.cgi?db=news&view_records=1&id=27327


    Mill Plain businesses opposed to cell phone antenna plan


    2002-04-24

    The News-Times/Douglas Healey
    Cellco Wireless/Verizon Telecommunications’ wants to put 12 cell phone antennas on the roof of 36 Mill Plain Road in Danbury. The antennas would rise six feet above the building and provide coverage for Verizon cell phone customers traveling on I-84.

    DANBURY — Scott Williams likes looking up toward the sky when he exits his Mill Plain Road office building.
    But Williams’ view may change if a telecommunications company installs cell phone antennas on top of a four-story office building next door to his business.

    “I like looking at skytops and trees and mountains, not electrical components,” he said.

    Williams is one of a few Mill Plain Road business owners opposed to Cellco Wireless/Verizon Telecommunications’ proposal to place 12 cell phone antennas on the roof of 36 Mill Plain Road. The antennas would rise six feet above the building and provide coverage for Verizon cell phone customers traveling along Interstate 84.

    The city’s Planning Commission is reviewing the proposal.

    Robert McNiff, the president of the Mill Plain Office Park Condominium Association, where the antennas would sit, said the antennas would be set back on top of the 40-foot-high building and would be barely visible.

    A 5-foot-tall and 12-foot-wide rectangular box housing the antennas would be painted to match the building.

    “No one is complaining except Scott Williams,” McNiff said, adding that Williams “decided at the last minute that he didn’t like it.

    “This is about a guy and sour grapes because nobody asked his permission to put the antenna on the roof.”

    Williams said McNiff’s association should have asked its neighbors what they thought about the antennas before signing off on a deal with Verizon.

    Twenty-eight business owners who rent space at 36 Mill Plain Road entered into a partnership with Verizon in exchange for a reduced rent.

    “It’s a good money deal. They pay us rent,” McNiff said. “It’s a good business decision for the association, a good use of the property, and it will provide long-term income for the association.”

    Charlie Maki, whose Goodyear store sits across the street from 36 Mill Plain Road, thinks the deal stinks and wishes “they would find another place to put it.”

    “It’s going to look terrible,” Maki said. “I’d be looking right at it. I wouldn’t look up every day at it, but with the traffic on Mill Plain Road we don’t need any more congestion.”

    The Planning Commission has held two public hearings on the proposal this month. Williams attended the April 17 public hearing to voice his opposition.

    The commission will hold another public hearing May 1. It then has 65 days to make a final determination on the proposal, said Ann Klebacha, the city’s assistant director of planning.


    Contact Ann Marie Somma

    at asomma@newstimes.com

    or at (203) 731-3411.

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    What's your opinion? Post it here.


    Division of Ottaway Newspapers,Inc.
    333 Main St. Danbury, CT 06810 (203) 744-5100

    The News-Times Online Edition is published daily Monday through Sunday.

    All items copyright © 2001 by The News-Times unless otherwise noted.
     
  10. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Hey Kevin & Anonymous,
    Wait a second here. Before we going jumping to conclusions on what Sprint should or shouldn't have done let me state a few things about this. We don't know all of the facts behind this case. First Sprint would not have taken this to court if they thought there was another place to locate this tower. Believe me this is a last ditch resort to deal with unreasonable people in the town. My very educated guess is that there is no where else to put this tower and that the town has probably rejected at least two other applications previously. Sprint will not take a case this far unless they feel it is their only option. If Sprint had tried to place this antenna in many similar locations here in LA they would have had much better odds of getting it approved. Some communities have a tendency to be very unreasonable compared to others and this sounds like it is one of them with all of their wealthy attorneys thinking they can make all the rules.
     
  11. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Larry,

    You are right. I do not know the facts of this. But just the idea of suggesting that a tower be put where school children are is very objectionable. Sure, you and I may know that the dangers and risks aren't as great as the general public want to believe they are, but that was the whole point of what I was trying to say.

    <u>I don't fault Sprint</u> for wanting to overcome unreasonable situations. But in this case, I would think that most of the general public would have a strong aversion to the idea of putting up any carriers tower where their children are. Even if there are truly no other options, it seems the smart thing to do would be not to push the school antenna.
     
  12. BillRadio

    BillRadio Wireless Consultant
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    There's always a flip side of the coin. There is a small rural school district (Grand County) in our state that was THRILLED to have Sprint locate a cell site on the roof of their elementary school, and generate income for the school.

    The parents, instead of saying "no" outright, went and researched the project. Sprint didn't even show up for the board meeting. They found that the site emitted only 8 watts of power and such sites cause no documented effects, and was well within government radiation specs.

    The board approved the site, and then they solicited business from VoiceStream who happily put an antenna on a flagpole out in front of the school!

    -Bill Radio
     
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  13. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Kevin,
    You're starting to sound like a NIMBY. [​IMG] Bill has a very good point. There are currently many antennas located right on schools all througout the country and the school districts receive very good compensation for this. Federal law prohibits local governments from denying antennas because of health concerns. I can provide 3 examples of towers right on school grounds here in Orange County which were approved with no hassle by parents at all. Sprint just installed a 73 foot antenna disguised as a tree at Jordan Intermediate school in Garden Grove, CA which can be viewed right off Hwy 22 at Brookhurst. In this case there was no opposition. In the case of New Jersey it just sounds like a bunch of unreasonable people who think they that they can make all the rules. It usually starts with just one person who loves conflict who then gets together a bunch of others to start an uprising. So the bottom line Kevin is that you think Sprint should just go away and forget about the idea of providing coverage in that town. Federal law gives them the right to be able to find a suitable location for an antenna that meets their coverage objective. If the town is not willing to provide that then they have no choice but to file a lawsuit. Other carriers including AT&T have sued towns as well.
     
  14. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Larry,

    Well, you and Bill just gave me an education. I honestly was not aware of much of what you just posted. I am sincerely grateful for that.

    Me a Nimby!? Well, again the point I was making (and I don't seem to be doing to well at it) is public opinion can be a tool to those that know how to use it. But to those that stand against it, it can be an overpowering force against them.
     
  15. IdiOTeQnoLogY

    IdiOTeQnoLogY Bronze Senior Member
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    funny about this post i just started dating a girl from franklin lakes since you posted it larry.........and while i get coverage at her home there are significant deadspots throughout the drive.

    i am about to go and build the site myself damnit!!!!
     
  16. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Actually what you should do is find out if and when it goes to court and show up at the hearing and show your support for the tower. I would if I was there.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. IdiOTeQnoLogY

    IdiOTeQnoLogY Bronze Senior Member
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    if you have or know when to get info about the hearing (i am assuming call the township and ask the court clerk) let me know.

    ill gladly go and show!
     
  18. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Actually, the HEARING has already taken place according to the Record news article. (The tower was denied!)
    The article states that Sprint has filed suit in the NJ Superior Court in Hackensack.

    Here's a link you can use if you want to find out about the TRIAL and all of the preceeding motions and actions ("Search Civil Motion Calendar" -- you need the particulars) or you can just phone the Clerk of Court.
    http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/bergen/index.htm

    It's unlikely that you can participate in the trial or preliminaries itself -- unless you have expertise that might get you called as a witness by either side. However, trials are public, so you can always attend as a spectator.

    I suspect the case will settle out of court!
     
  19. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    People don't like dropped calls but then they also don't let the phone companies to do anything about it. Why can't a stranded passenger on a highway or roadside use the convenience of a cell phone to call emergency services in order to save lives? Well, because some picky residents like looking up toward the pretty sky when they exit their home or look out the window. That's plain old bulls**t. If those people were traveling and God forbid they had an accident, then they wished there was a tower nearby so they can call the ambulance. Some people just don't realize water is important until they are thirsty. It's 2002 people, stop dreaming!
     
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  20. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Bobo,

    I agree to an extent. I have also cited how older residential areas had electrical and phone wires ABOVE ground on polls--extremely unsightly and much more intrusive on scenic views. So we (modern society) stuck those things underground and now our view is once again open. But communciations are vital to human life just as you mention. So having an occasional tower every mile or so is a far cry from the electrical and phone lines that went from house to house and criss-crossed the streets.

    But then I would be very concerned about every carrier putting up its own towers instead of co-locating. That could become unsightly. Personally, some of the dark "visions" of the future that movie makers paint does indeed make me think that technology needs to be a servant of the people, not some intrusive god. The earth is a beautiful place and preserving that beauty needs to be taken into consideration, no matter what century we are in.

    kev
     
  21. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Good views Kev...I also think that in the future, as technology evolves, ugly cell towers will become less visible just as those electrical wires were buried underground. In the meantime, we'll have to live with it just like we lived with the wires criss-crossing our streets in the past until technology is available that will hide the towers.

    If you take the Garden State Parkway near exit 135 or so you will see a monstrous tower that Cingular put up a couple of years ago right in the middle of the parkway. This can't be missed by any driver especially since that's an area where there are only trees around. Also, this tower does not have any kind of disguise. A couple of miles north there's an AT&T tower disguised as a tree on the northbound side. This is less intrusive and I have to say I believed it was a real tree before I had a cell phone although it seemed a weird looking tree to me...lol... Prior to Cingular putting up their tower right in the middle of the parkway, there was good signal there so I don't know why they decided to do that. I don't know how they got away with it. They could've done like AT&T and disguise the tower or hide it with the trees.

    All I am saying is that if there is an alternate place where the tower can be placed less visible they should choose that but let's not go to either extreme and place the tower where it will be very intrusive and distracting to people or on the other hand prevent the company from putting up a tower even if they disguise it the best they can. Unfortunately, there are places where the best choice for erecting a tower is not the prettiest. That's where technology interferes with nature. Both sides should cooperate with each other to address their needs.
     
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  22. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Amen to that. "Balance" and reasonableness do seem to be a problem in all levels of society today. When I read of government officials turning a counsel meeting into a brawl I have to wonder what is happening to the fabric of so-called "society" today. (You know, "society" as in "social" as in getting along as a working group of people.)
     

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