I’m a full-time injury lawyer.
I dedicate my entire law practice to helping victims of personal injuries get the money they need and deserve.
It’s not part-time work, even though lots of general practitioners ( jack-of-all-trades lawyers) think so.
But every once in a blue moon, I get involved in a non-injury case because of some compelling reason. It must involve helping the little guy against some large force of evil. And, I usually do it, not for money, but because the people involved have nowhere else to turn and no money to fight the battle.
That brings me to a case at a local zoning board. AT&T is trying to put a cell tower in a neighborhood full of kids.
And, they want to put it on a hill overlooking one of the most beautiful lakes in the state, Granite Lake. The town is absolutely pristine, and rural. To put the cell tower where they want would be an irreversible blight on the town.
And, absolutely needless.
Hey, I like my cell phone and all of us understand the need for cell towers, but placent is key. Put it in the least offensive spot.
The cell companies don’t care. After the tower is built, they’re gone. The people are left. Their kids and grandkids are left. Future generations pay the price.
We value NH living. It’s a beautiful state and we need to keep it that way.
The proposed location will absolutely ruin a beautiful view of a local lake, mountains and a terrific rural landscape.
There are other problems too, and because the case is pending, I won’t go into all the details.
Suffice to say AT&T, in my view, acting through some big shot lawyers out of Massachusetts is trying to bully/coerce/manipulate to get its own way— a tower in small town New Hampshire.
At the heart of it all is the implied/subtle threat that if the town does not approve the cell tower, AT&T will bring suit and will win.
The last thing the volunteers of small town boards want is their town to get sued. Taxes need to be raised to pay the bill after all.
One of the tactics is to show that federal law– The Telecommunications Act of 1996– makes it impossible for small towns to deny any application for a cell tower. That position is a lie.
While the federal law interferes with local zoning decisions to an offensive degree, it does not trump local zoning.
It does remove a few things from consideration. For example, the telecom companies and our politicians enacted a law that promotes the expansion of cell phone usage at the expense of public health. The law effectively makes it impossible for local zoning boards to consider any health implications for its citizens. While parents are rightfully concerned about the effects of EMF radiation on their children, the federal law says too bad.
It is not legal for a local zoning board, whose duty it is to promote the health, safety & welfare of its citizens, to deny a cell tower on health grounds.
It is, however, the law and must be accepted.
Therefore it would be wrong for a town to deny a cell tower on health grounds, so long as the emissions are within FCC guidelines—- for whatever they are worth.
As long as the RF ( radio frequency waves) are within federal safety standards, nobody can do anything about it.
This sounds a lot like the big drug companies who put very dangerous drugs on the market which had to be pulled because they killed people.
Well, I’m helping some good folks fight AT&T.
In my investigation of things, I get the feeling ATT tries to steam-roll the locals, and get them to think- out of fear– they are powerless, when in actuality, they have the power to deny ATT. And, if its reasons are legally valid and explained sufficiently, the towns-people will win on any appeal.
I’m not officially representing them as their lawyer because this is far outside my specialty area of personal injury, but I’m familiar enough with the law and able to consult with them on strategy matters and such. The fact is most of these families cannot afford to hire a lawyer who specializes in telecommunications law and/or municipal law, and they truly appreciate my advice, input and direction.
They have lots of good, and in my view, legally sustainable arguments for asking the board to deny AT&T’s cell tower.
I’ll keep you posted.
Can’t talk too much about it now.
Maybe I’ll incorporate this kind of work into my injury practice.
Come to think about it— there is injury if justice is not done.
Keep your strength.