Court Backs Cell-Tower Haters
Aesthetics a valid reason for town to deny permission, Calif. judges say
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2009 1:48 PM CDT
A cell phone tower.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Ghastly cell towers are proving to be little match for vista-loving communities: Palos Verdes Estates, a wealthy enclave near Los Angeles, took Sprint to court over proposed towers—and won, as have a number of other California towns. “You want cell coverage, but you also want beauty,” a town lawyer tells the Times. The appeals court panel agreed, noting the difference between a “picturesque street” and a “wireless communications facility” and quoting a 19-century Viennese architect in their decision.

“We see nothing exceptional in the city's determination that the former is less discomforting, less troubling, less annoying and less distressing than the latter,” the judges’ ruling continues. Sprint has had a hard time constructing towers in California, though a Palos Verdes official says other companies have come up with pleasing compromises. “It is unfortunate that Sprint decided to litigate instead of work with us,” he says, noting that cell coverage is, in fact, spotty.