In my previous post concerning the District Court's decision in Industrial Tower and Wireless, LLC v. Haddad ("ITW v. Haddad"), 2015 WL 2365560 (D. Mass. 2015), I discussed the decision as fitting within a small, but significant, line of cases requiring local boards to base their denial decisions on the specific criteria of the local bylaw. Another noteworthy aspect of ITW v. Haddad is that it is one of the first trial-level decisions to apply the Supreme Court's decision in T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell, Ga., 135 S. Ct. 808 (2015) ("City of Roswell").
As previously posted, on May 18, 2015, P & A won summary judgment, under the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the "TCA" / "Act"), against the Town of Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals in Industrial Tower and Wireless, LLC v. Haddad ("ITW v. Haddad"), 2015 WL 2365560, at *17 (D. Mass. 2015). The next two posts will look at two aspects of the District Court's decision that are particularly noteworthy.
On May 18, 2015, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Burroughs, J., issued its Memorandum and Order on Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, allowing summary judgment to enter for P & A's client, Industrial Tower & Wireless, LLC ("ITW"), and ordering the Defendant Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Falmouth, "within forty-five (45) days" to "issue all necessary permits allowing ITW to construct and operate" its proposed telecommunications facility in Falmouth, MA. See Industrial Tower and Wireless, LLC v. Haddad, 2015 WL 2365560, at *17 (D. Mass. 2015).
In January we featured a short post about City of Arlington, Texas v. FCC, 668 F.3d 229 (5th Cir. 2012), an interesting case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, involving administrative law and the Chevron doctrine. Incidentally, the secondary, underlying substantive issue in the lower court related to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) definition of a "reasonable period of time" for the local board to issue a decision for siting a telecommunications tower under the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. The City of Arlington ultimately challenged the FCC's interpretation of what that timeframe should be, which the FCC had issued via a declaratory ruling in 2009.*
An interesting case is on appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court: City of Arlington, Texas v. FCC, 668 F.3d 229 (5th Cir. 2012).* Oral arguments were held at SCOTUS on January 16.