GLOBAL TOWER ASSETS, LLC sued the Town of Rome, Maine and its Planning Board for a denial of a cell site project.
Unfortunately for Global Tower, it sued after receiving the Planning Board’s denial. It did not take an appeal to the Town. The District Court hearing the case “held that the Planning Board’s denial of the application was not a final action that Applicants were entitled to challenge under the TCA.” (Internal quotes omitted.)
Global appealed to the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which sustained the District Court’s ruling against the tower company. The Court of Appeals said,
The appellants contend that the opportunity to bring an
administrative appeal should not prevent their TCA challenge from
going forward. But, in keeping with basic principles of
administrative law and the purposes of the TCA, we disagree. As
a matter of state law, the planning board’s denial may be reviewed
in state court only after the local board of appeals has exercised
its own independent review. As a result, we agree with the
appellees — the planning board and the Town of Rome, Maine —
that the planning board’s decision does not mark the end of the
administrative process and thus is not a “final action” for TCA
If you’d like to read the Court of Appeals’ decision, CLICK HERE.
This reminds me of a case I was involved in many years ago when NewPath Networks sued the City of Irvine before completing the administrative process.