Cell Tower Debate Heads to Court

A federal judge will decide whether a 150 foot high cell tower can be erected in Panama City.

Atlanta-based Vertical Assets wanted to put the tower on property at West 19th Street and Florida Avenue.

Last month the Panama City commission unanimously rejected a development order for the tower. The commissioners cited safety and neighborhood compatibility issues.

Now, the battle has landed in federal court, with Vertical Assets saying the city discriminated against it.
They say a similar tower was allowed for another firm three years ago without even having to get city commission approval.

The firm also claims the city failed to provide the required written evidence to support its decision, and violated the federal Tele-Communications Act.

The lawsuit asks the court to order the city to approve the tower. AT&T would be the prime user of the tower, and it would be used without cost by emergency agencies.