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Northampton Cell Tower Fight Headed To Federal Court

"The construction manager told me that I was getting a 25 foot cell pole on my property, that it was a done deal," Ed Bendzlowicz said.

“The construction manager told me that I was getting a 25 foot cell pole on my property, that it was a done deal,” Ed Bendzlowicz said.

Tim Jimenez Tim Jimenez
Tim Jimenez is a general assignment reporter at KYW Newsradio...
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By Tim Jimenez

NORTHAMPTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) - Construction of 25-foot cell towers in neighborhoods is on hold after the township pulled American Tower Corporation’s permit last week. And residents found out at a public meeting last night that the case is going to federal court.

Northampton residents say the fight against ATC is finally going their way.

“The township is working in our favor now. They are taking the appropriate action which we hoped they would take,” Ed Bendzlowicz says ATC crews stopped working near his home and across the township. But as the company tries to get their permit back, the township filed a complaint in U.S. District Court.

Solicitor Michael Savona says ATC violated two zoning laws, not litigated in their first court battle and he says they even violated federal law.

“Because we believe this is an issue of federal law under the telecommunications act. (Cell towers are not permitted to be built within 300 feet of residential neighborhoods.) This case raises the issues that I think needed to be addressed in the first suit but they’re going to be raised here and litigated which I think will result in a much different outcome.”

Residents are happy the work has stopped but they aren’t resting. They formed a non-profit to raise money for a lawyer of their own to help in the fight against ATC.

No court dates have been set yet.

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