In Durham, North Carolina eight residents are suing the city as a way to block the proposed installation of a 120-foot cell phone tower on the property of a North Carolina church. The lawsuit was filed on July 3rd. Ray Gronberg reported in the Herald Sun that, “the lawsuit argues that Durham’s land-use regulations delegate too much authority to administrators when it comes to weighing applications for tower placements.”
The members of this community don’t believe the tower is compatible with the surrounding area and will potentially affect property values and safety. This tower is designed to be dressed up as a tree to make it more aesthetically pleasing. The lawsuit filed by the residents didn't challenge the city’s decision; it did, however, ask a judge to apply to the case a doctrine that says cities and counties must use court-like procedures when an application requires a judgment call about issues like appearance and effects on property values.
“That means among other things taking evidence using rules similar to those that would apply in a civil-court proceeding, and allowing the cross-examination of witnesses. Administrative rulings under that doctrine should be limited to issues where the answer to a question is clear-cut – such as whether there’s a wide-enough buffer between a new structure and its neighbors,” Gronberg explained.