Communications & Media Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Australia: Policy tensions crystallise in NSW Impact of Gambling report and former premier’s comments

On 14 August 2014, the New South Wales Legislative Council’s Select Committee on the Impact of Gambling presented its report to the New South Wales Government (available here). The report is the product of an extensive public...more

A Pending Supreme Court Case and an FCC Rulemaking May Impact How Local Planning Agencies Handle Wireless Facilities

As wireless towers and other facilities continue to sprout at a rapid pace, regulations that balance your community’s needs and those of wireless providers must keep up. Local governments and their planners should watch two...more

Court Finds No CEQA Necessary For Utility Cabinets on San Francisco Sidewalks

In San Francisco Beautiful v. City and County of San Francisco, No. CPF11511535, (Cal. Ct. App. 1st Dist. May 30, 2014), the First Appellate District upheld San Francisco’s application of a categorical exemption to exempt...more

CEQA Class 3 Categorical Exemptions Permitted for AT&T Installations

The First District Court of Appeal held that AT&T’s proposed installation of new utility cabinets in the City of San Francisco fell within CEQA’s Class 3 categorical exemption for the “installation of small new equipment and...more

Court Approves San Francisco's Use of Class 3 CEQA Exemption for Telecommunications Project

Opinion clarifies when projects involving the construction of hundreds of new small utility structures may be exempt from environmental review - The California Court of Appeal upheld San Francisco’s determination that...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: April 17, 2014

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions yesterday morning. After last term issuing no opinions significantly affecting Virginia Local Government Law (at least not in this author’s judgment), this term’s opinions are a...more

Regulation Requiring Spaced-Out Digital Billboards Does Not Violate First Amendment

We've all seen it before: a person says something rude, which elicits a "watch your mouth" response, and the foul-mouth person replies, "Hey, I have a right to free speech!" Touché. A lesser-known use of the First Amendment...more

Court Upholds City's Ability to Regulate an Advertising Sign After Finding the City's Decision was Supported by Substantial...

After over 35 years of advertising its business with a 35 foot pole sign, the Court of Appeal agreed with the City of West Sacramento that the time had come for U-Haul to reduce the sign's height to 12 feet in compliance with...more

Sleeper “Small” Cells: The Battle Over The FCC’s Wireless Infrastructure Proceeding

As policymakers and regulators struggle to keep pace with corporate deal makers (read Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger and Comcast-Netflix deal) and address the structures undergirding our Nation’s electronic communications...more

Second Circuit Confirms Town Of Greenburgh Unlawfully Denied Crown Castle DAS Network

On Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed that the Town of Greenburgh, New York, had unlawfully denied Crown Castle’s application to install a 20 node distributed antenna system (DAS)...more

FCC Sets Comment Deadlines for Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Environmental and Historic Review Processes for Small Cell and...

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) recently released a Public Notice setting comment deadlines for its September 26, 2013 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) on improving wireless facilities...more

Locating Utilities – When Municipal Consent is Not Enough

Over the last decade, there have been numerous class actions regarding telecommunication companies’ use of railroad easements. In many of those cases, the telecommunication companies obtained permission from the railroad...more

Ninth Circuit: City Requirement That Cell-Tower Company Obtain Voter Approval Upheld

When T-Mobile sought to place a cell-tower in a park owned by the City of Huntington Beach, California, the City granted the company all the regulatory approvals it required. But the City also informed T-Mobile that before...more

Court Denies Cell-Tower Company's Challenge to Initiative Requiring Voter-Approval Before City Can Lease Property

Decision Could Be Relevant to Upcoming FCC Rulemaking - An appellate court last week ruled that a provision of the federal Communications Act limiting how a local government may regulate the “placement, construction,...more

Oregon Court Limits Agri-tourism at Farm Stands

A land use decision by the Oregon Court of Appeals could impact farm marketing activities across the state, imposing new permitting requirements and forcing changes to business operations. The case, Greenfield v....more

FCC Requests Comment on Wireless Broadband Rules That Could Limit Local Government Authority - February Deadline Set for Public...

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today formally released and requested comment on proposed rules to accelerate the expansion of wireless broadband services nationwide, which could limit local governments’ zoning...more

FCC Proposes New Rules On Local Wireless Siting [Video]

The Federal Communications Commission is considering adopting rules that could limit local governments’ zoning authority and allow wireless-service providers to add facilities to existing buildings, towers, and other...more

Local Governments and Wireless Siting

Local Authority Over Wireless Siting: •Local Government is NOT the Enemy •Our Interests - Consumer Protection/Property Rights - Largest User of Wireless Services - Landlord of Preferred Sites - Community...more

FCC Explores Opportunities to Expedite Deployment of Wireless Broadband Facilities

On September 27, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Notice”) directed at expediting the deployment of wireless broadband facilities. Currently, parties seeking to...more

FCC Proposes New Rules On Local Wireless Siting (Webinar Presentation and Recording)

In This Presenation: The Federal Communications Commission is considering adopting rules that could limit local governments’ zoning authority and allow wireless-service providers to add facilities to existing...more

FCC Wireless Rulemaking - 2013 (Presentation)

FCC Has Commenced New Rulemaking on Wireless - • Rulemaking issued Thursday, Sept. 26; 60-day initial comment period after Fed. Reg. publication. • Local authority is at risk: ..Basic assumptions underlying many...more

Cellular antennas on special district property: The opportunity and the risk

You licensed your special-district property to wireless communications companies that installed antennas and other communication facilities. You had the space. They were willing to pay for it. It just made sense. Didn't...more

Wireless Site Applications: It's My Party (the FCC) and I'll Decide How I Want To

When a Federal statute is ambiguous, who gets to decide what it means — judges or the agency in charge of administering the statute? In its recent holding in City of Arlington v. Federal Communications Commission issued...more

Federal and State Agencies Considering Telecom Regulations that Could Dramatically Impact Local Authority - BB&K's Joseph Van...

Federal and state agencies are considering new regulations that could dramatically affect local authority to ensure communications companies –including wireless companies and cable/video franchises – serve the public well and...more

Supreme Court Upholds FCC's Authority To Impose Time Limitations on Land Use Approvals for Wireless Facilities

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had authority under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to impose time limits for state and local governments to act...more

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