Tampa council sued over cell tower
APril 21, 2010
Sunset Park residents have filed a lawsuit to reverse the Tampa City Council's vote to allow a 150-foot cell tower near the gateway to their South Tampa neighborhood.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in Hillsborough County Circuit Court by the Culbreath Heights Civic Association and several residents, maintains, among other things, that waivers granted by the council's 4-2 vote violated procedure.
The waivers give Tampa-based F&L Towers permission to nearly double the allowable height of the proposed tower, the lawsuit states.
In addition to the homeowners association, more than 20 condominium owners and some business operators objected to the tower during the council's March 18 hearing on the issue, saying it would be unsafe, unhealthy and destroy Sunset Park's entry vista.
The tower is planned on a half-acre near a shopping center at 4343 Henderson Blvd.
The lawsuit prepared by Cape Coral lawyer Ralf Brookes also maintains that if the tower falls, it will endanger life and property, including the shopping center and adjacent Bank of America.
Additionally, the suit says F&L Towers did not provide a lease agreement, required by city code to prove telecommunications carriers intend to place antennas on the tower.
A city ordinance requires 150-foot towers to have at least three carriers.
City Attorney Chip Fletcher said Tuesday afternoon that the city had not seen the lawsuit.
"Our job in the city attorney's office is to defend the decision of council," Fletcher said. "And that's what we'll do when we get served with the suit."
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