Search Site

Not in my backyard – cell tower oppositions are becoming increasingly common across New Jersey

In recent years across the state of New Jersey, residents have attempted to persuade their municipal zoning, planning, and land use boards to block new cell towers and cell tower additions. Despite their best efforts, on appeals of these board decisions, New Jersey courts have tended to side with those proposing to create the structures.

In 2017, a Hunterdon County man attempted to challenge a decision made by his township land use board to approve the variances Verizon needed to construct 12 new antennas on top of an existing powerline pole. The trial judge dismissed the appeal and the appellate panel affirmed. In 2019, after over a decade-long opposition from community residents, a trial court judge ruled in favor of T-Mobile, allowing T-Mobile to construct a new cell tower. The opposition from the Freehold Township community began around 2007 and the planning board sided with the residents, denying multiple of T-Mobile’s applications before being thwarted by the court. In 2020, the courts reversed a zoning board decision from a Passaic County municipality, ordering the municipality to grant the variance necessary for AT&T to construct a new cell tower. While the zoning board initially denied the application for fears it would be too close to residents, the trial judge viewed the decision as arbitrary and capricious.

It should be noted that these court opinions are unpublished and therefore do not set precedent for future similar cases, but rather apply only to the individual situations respectively before the court. Nonetheless, these cases do show a pattern of wireless providers’ successes in building cell towers over community opposition. This is not to say all challenges to cell tower proposals are futile, as it is still important to be sure the application process is as thorough as possible and many residents have been successful in forcing the proponents of these projects to seek other locations, even if not blocking the construction of the tower entirely.

Court sides with Verizon over Hunterdon County cellular antennas
Freehold Township issues permit for construction of cell tower
143-foot-tall tower going up after North Haledon loses legal battle against AT&T

Our Attorneys

In The Media

  • On the Run: Runner/lawyer DeBord out to protect the environment she loves

    Bucks County Herald, January 4, 2024

    When Brittany DeBord runs along the Delaware River canal towpath or on the trails of Tyler State Park, she doesn’t just appreciate the natural beauty of the...

    Read More
  • Gulf Coast Town Center facing foreclosure

    Naples Daily News, September 16, 2015

    Wells Fargo filed a lawsuit Sept. 8 against an affiliate of CBL & Associates, the owners of the decadeold, 1.2 million-square-foot mall in south Fort Myers for a $190.9 million unpaid loan. The center has 94 stores on 204 acres, with such anchors as Super Target, Belk, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and Costco...

    Read More
  • Town liable for private company's leaking underground tanks, court rules Jul 26, 2017

    CRANFORD -- A couple that owned a businesses in town and became sick from leaking underground tanks owned by an adjacent business can sue the township for damages because the tanks were partially ...

    Read More
  • Dark Waters: How a Class Action Catapulted NJ to Forefront of 'Forever Chemicals' Battle

    NJ Law Journal Jan 09, 2020

    As property owners become increasingly aware of PFAS contamination, and as individuals exposed to PFAS learn of the health risks associated with exposure, liability will likely affect entire supply chains.

    Read More
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
Contact Our Firm

Quick Contact Form