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Wireless company lawsuit against Rye City dismissed
USA Created: 26 Dec 2017
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by wireless company Crown Castle against the City of Rye earlier this month.

Judge Vincent Bricetti ruled that Rye did not violate the Telecommunications Act when it required the wireless company to conduct additional reviews of its proposal to build new cell equipment throughout the city.

In its complaint, Crown Castle claimed the City had violated state and federal laws when it adopted a positive declaration under the State Environmental Quality Review Act in April.

"This order recognizes the importance of a diligent review process," said Rye City Mayor Joseph Sack in a statement last week. "To have Judge Briccetti affirm that we have acted in accordance with federal law is gratifying."

The city's victory comes after almost two years of community opposition to the company's proposal to install cell tower equipment throughout the city.

Crown Castle, which has built in communities throughout Westchester and Rockland, proposed in 2015 to install "cell nodes," or small metal boxes that function as antennae across the city, to boost cell coverage and internet speeds.

But residents, citing noise and aesthetic concerns, pushed back.

In April, the City Council required the company to conduct studies on possible noise, sight and health impacts from the proposed equipment. The review, known as SEQRA, is ongoing.

Officials with the company declined to comment.

Rye City Mayor-elect Joshua Cohn, who defeated Sack in November, said he expects the company to appeal the decision.

"It'll be my administration in conjunction with the city's attorneys that will look at how to combat Crown's anticipated appeal," Cohn told the Journal News/lohud in an interview earlier this month. "It will also be a priority of my administration to see that there is a full SEQRA review of alternatives to Crown's existing proposal."
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Source: Lohud / USAToday, Gabriel Rom, 18 Dec 2017

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