Search Site
Menu

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It should be noted that these court opinions are unpublished and therefore do not set precedent for future similar cases, but rather apply only to the individual situations respectively before the court.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.

Sources:
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

Recent Twitter Posts

  • Another effort to make the Delaware Water Gap a national park is underway. https://t.co/C00NZ43nZU
    2 days ago
  • New Jersey seeks designation of Lower Hackensack River as a federal Superfund site. https://t.co/czOI3hDNb2
    2 days ago
  • New report finds that significant offshore wind capacity exists along the Atlantic coast. https://t.co/EQG8d5VMw2
    4 months ago
  • The Murphy Administration plans to spend $200 million on wind port. https://t.co/Se09U5ZHvy
    5 months ago

Recent Blog Posts

EPA plans to increase criminal enforcement of environmental laws as part of environmental justice efforts

Many of the U.S.’s environmental statutes, such as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act, contain criminal enforcement measures. These criminal enforcement measures range from significant fines to
Read More
EPA plans to increase criminal enforcement of environmental laws as part of environmental justice efforts

States file petition in U.S. Supreme Court over EPA’s Clean Air Act regulations

On June 18, 2021, twenty (20) states along with additional supporters filed a request for appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court that has the potential to affect States’ rights to
Read More
States file petition in U.S. Supreme Court over EPA’s Clean Air Act regulations

EPA announces next step of clean-up plan at Superfund site in Burlington County

The Cinnaminson Groundwater Contamination Superfund Site spans 400 acres and straddles the border of Cinnaminson and Delran in Burlington County. “Superfund sites,” such as this one, are designated by the
Read More
EPA announces next step of clean-up plan at Superfund site in Burlington County

Police Departments’ Arrest Records are Public Records Subject to Public Disclosure, Supreme Court Says

Even if the judiciary creates the forms and stores them once completed, arrest records are still police records subject to public disclosure under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), the
Read More
Police Departments’ Arrest Records are Public Records Subject to Public Disclosure, Supreme Court Says

In the media

  • 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

    NJ.com 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