New York Town of Mahopac Wins Legal Battle Over Cell Tower Placement
UPDATE Residents in the hamlet of Mahopac within the town of Carmel, NY took their fight against Verizon Wireless to court. As the Westchester Journal News reports, State Supreme Justice Thomas Davis agreed with the plaintiff’s grievances. He held that the town of Carmel entered into an unlawful agreement with Homeland Towers to build a 140 foot cell tower in a residential neighborhood. The judge found that the dealings were not conducted in a transparent manner, and were influenced by a voting member who stood to gain financially from the arrangement.
“We do not agree with the State Judge’s decision,” Manuel Vicente, President of Homeland told Inside Towers, “and will continue to vigorously pursue our legal options in our efforts to bring critical wireless infrastructure and service to the residents of Carmel.”
In a close vote to approve the cell tower construction, Town Board member Frank Lombardi voted in favor of the cell tower plan. However, as a member of the Maple Estate homeowners association, he was part of the HOA group slated to earn $18,000 per year for the land lease.
“He should have disclosed his interest and recused himself from the Town Board’s vote,” Judge Davis stated.
“It’s unfortunate that the residents of Walton Drive had to take legal action against Homeland Towers and the town,” said former Town Supervisor, Ken Schmitt, who helped facilitate the original agreement. “I’m glad the residents prevailed. I could have done a better job, doing a deeper dive into the terms of the settlement. I fault myself,” he told the Westchester Journal News.
“Five of us kicked in to pay the lawyer,” said town resident Rob Cavallaro. “There’s a small balance we are still paying. It hurts. But something had to be done. And hopefully Homeland Towers goes away.”
Verizon Wireless and Homeland Towers have challenged earlier versions of this plan, running into obstacles with placement and zoning. There has thus far been no official response to Mahopac’s recent legal victory.
In 2021 a federal court ruled in favor of organizations and petitioners that sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for NOT adequately protecting Americans from wireless radiation exposure. Despite the ruling, the FCC (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) as well as other government and state agencies and committees (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) continue to promote and fund the deployment and densification of both 5G and 4G cell towers and other wireless infrastructure. American businesses and school districts continue to install 5G, 4G, and Wi-Fi for “private networks” as well. Additionally, catastrophic aviation safety risks from 5G activation have still not been resolved (see 1, 2). The Department of Defense (DoD) is trying to mitigate military radar interference risks with 5G as well.