Homeowner’s antenna stirs up ‘special-use’ laws

Must city pay damages to radio operator for permit denial?

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Mark J. Abrams is a Federal Communications Commission-licensed amateur radio operator. He also provides commercial mobile radio services (known as personal wireless services) for local businesses. In 1989, the city where he lives issued Abrams a permit to construct a 50-foot antenna on his residential property for his amateur use. But 10 years later, the city learned about Abrams' commercial use, which was not authorized by his antenna permit. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. The city obtained a court injunction preventing Abrams from using his home antenna for commercial purposes until he obtained a special city permit. However, when he applied for the permit, the city denied it. Abrams then filed this lawsuit, claiming the city violated his rights under the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 (TCA). The court agreed with Abrams, ruling the city did not have a valid reason to deny his special-use permit. The court ordered the city to issue the permit to Abrams. But Abrams th...