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Firm Successfully Defends Village of Southampton in Wireless Antenna Case

The firm successfully defended the Village of Southampton, the Village Clerk/Administrator, the Village Building Department and the Village Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review against a lawsuit brought by wireless communication provider MetroPCS New York, LLC and the First Presbyterian Church of Southampton. MetroPCS sought approval from the Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review (the “ARB”) to install several wireless antennas in the steeple of the First Presbyterian Church, located in the center of the Village at the prominent corner of Main Street and Job’s Lane. The Church, a local landmark, is part of the Village Historic District and is listed in the New York State and National Register of Historic Places.

The installation would have necessitated cutting away substantial portions of the wooden steeple’s four iconic clock tower faces, storing the historic material in the church basement for at least 25 years, and replacing the wood with synthetic material. Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Paul J. Baisley, Jr. dismissed the lawsuit against the Village in its entirety, finding that the ARB’s decision “was based on application of criteria within the Village Code and supported by substantial evidence in the record.” The Court also determined that the ARB properly recognized MetroPCS as a public utility and that the Board did not violate the Telecommunications Act of 1996 by the denial.

For further information or for a copy of the decision, contact partner Lisa Kombrink, Esq.