Monday, February 11, 2019

NY Court Rules that Excessive Fees Violate PRB-1

Second Department courthouse of the Appellate Division
of the New York State Supreme Court (from NY State Courts
The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court (the state's second-highest court) ruled in early January that a town government exceeded its authority and violatd the FCC's requirement for "reasonable accommodation" of amateur antennas by trying to make a local amateur reimburse the town for thousands of dollars in consulting fees in connection with his application to build a tower higher than the town normally permits. 

The ARRL Letter reports that the case stretches back to 2013, when Myles Landstein, N2EHG, applied to the Town of LaGrange for a permit to build a 70-foot tower. The town normally allows towers to be no higher than 35 feet. The town tried to make Landstein pay more than $17,000 in consulting fees before considering his application, according to the court, which ruled that the fees were excessive and that a town "may not use its land-use regulatory authority to construct 'hoop after hoop' for the petitioner to jump through in order to erect his antenna tower [and] cannot impose unreasonable expenses so as to create an insurmountable financial barrier to the pursuit of the project."