Court takes up dispute over cell phone towers 

click to enlarge U.S. Supreme Court
  • AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana
  • A Supreme Court visitor takes pictures with her cell phone outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, during a hearing. The Supreme Court is taking up a dispute over what kind of explanation local officials must provide when denying an application to build a cell phone tower.

The Supreme Court is taking up a dispute over what kind of explanation local officials must provide when denying an application to build a cell phone tower.

The justices agreed Monday to hear an appeal from T-Mobile South, which claims the city of Roswell, Georgia, did not adequately justify its refusal to allow construction of a 108-foot tall cell tower.

Federal law requires denial of a cell phone tower permit to be "in writing" and supported by substantial evidence. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that Roswell satisfied that requirement by issuing a general denial letter and a transcript of hearings.

T-Mobile says the written decision must include the specific reason for denial. The company wants the high court to resolve a split in circuits on the issue.

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