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Oyster Bay settles suit over cell antennas

Oyster Bay Town Hall in Oyster Bay on

Oyster Bay Town Hall in Oyster Bay on March 27, 2016. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

Oyster Bay will not require Crown Castle NG East LLC to obtain permits or approval for modification or installation of six cell phone repeaters on the Nassau County right of way within the town under a settlement in federal court.

The Texas-based company sued the town in September in U.S. Eastern District Court alleging the town had effectively restricted the modification of five existing repeaters, known as distributed antennas system nodes, and the installation of one new node by failing to respond to letters from the company sent earlier in the year.

The company sent letters to the town in March and April requesting that the town either acknowledge that no town permits or approvals were required to modify five nodes and install one new node because they were on the county right of way, or to begin the approval process, according to court filings. Neither the town nor its attorneys gave the company an answer, effectively denying Crown Castle’s application, the company alleged.

Under the settlement, which was filed with the court on Jan. 2, the town agreed it would not require permits or approvals for nodes at specific locations on Cold Spring Road in Syosset, Central Avenue in Farmingdale, and Woodbury Road and Plainview Road in Woodbury.

Oyster Bay spokesman Brian Nevin said in an email the land in question was Nassau County property and “not under the jurisdiction of the town.”

Crown Castle’s attorney, Robert Gaudioso, of Tarrytown-based Snyder & Snyder LLP, said in an email the company was pleased “the town acknowledged that it was not entitled to regulate the placement of wireless equipment in the county right of way.”

The lawsuit is separate from another filed in 2017 in federal court by Crown Castle NG East against Oyster Bay over restrictions on the placement of cell phone repeaters on the town's right of way. That lawsuit is ongoing.

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