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June 25, 2018 / Media Mention

Law360 recognizes Porter Wright attorneys Hughes, Shank and Gentry for “quick win in Ohio tower siting suit”

Porter Wright’s Wireless Practice Group advises wireless telecommunications carriers and related construction enterprises on wireless infrastructure network and facility deployments. Although much of this work occurs outside of the litigation context, lawsuits can and do arise under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (TCA) when a permitting authority wrongfully denies a conditional or special use zoning permit that most municipalities require before issuing a building permit.

Porter Wright attorneys Brad Hughes, Aaron Shank and Caroline Gentry recently obtained a summary-judgment victory in such a case for the firm’s client, North Carolina-based cell tower builder Eco-Site, L.L.C. In 2016, Eco-Site applied for a special use permit to construct a new telecommunications tower in the City of Huber Heights, Ohio, near Dayton. The tower is intended to house wireless telecommunications equipment for T-Mobile Central, L.L.C., and to address a service coverage gap. Although city staff recommended approval of Eco-Site’s application, the Huber Heights Planning Commission denied the application without explanation, shortly before the deadline for Eco-Site to challenge the decision in federal court under the TCA.

Eco-Site and T-Mobile sued Huber Heights in August 2016, alleging that the city’s denial of the application effectively prohibited the provision of wireless service in the area, and that the Planning Commission’s decision was unsupported by substantial evidence in the administrative record. U.S. District Judge Rose of the Southern District of Ohio agreed with Eco-Site and T-Mobile upon review of the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment, and issued an injunction ordering Huber Heights to promptly issue all required approvals for the tower. Scott Thompson of Davis Wright Tremaine L.L.P. represented T-Mobile in the lawsuit.

Media: 

"T-Mobile Gets Quick Win In Ohio Tower Siting Suit," published by Law360 on June 25, 2018 (subscription required to view article)