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Judge: City has right to hold hearing

October 27, 2010

A judge Friday upheld Huntington Beach's right to hold a revocation hearing for two controversial cell towers originally slated to be built in parks.

U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner denied a motion by T-Mobile, the company that wants to construct the towers, that would have allowed start-up construction on the towers.

T-Mobile wants to construct a 55-foot-high tower at Harbour View Park, which is next to Harbour View Elementary School, and a 52-foot-high tower at Bolsa View Park. Both towers were slated to be disguised as trees.

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The ruling doesn't end the litigation against the city, and there is still expected to be a Nov. 9 trial date, according to a statement from the city attorney.

The city held a hearing Aug. 30 and voted 6 to 1 to revoke T-Mobile's wireless permits on the grounds that a significant coverage gap wasn't proven and there are viable alternatives.

T-Mobile was originally granted administrative approval in 2007 for two towers that were slated to cost significantly less than the actual amount.

Construction came to a standstill in 2009 when residents found out about the project and put up a fight.

—Britney Barnes

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