T-Mobile drops lawsuit against city

T-Mobile has dismissed a lawsuit it filed against Huntington Beach after the city revoked a permit to build a cell tower in a park.

T-Mobile made the move despite getting turned down for a second application to build in a compromised location, this time near protected wildlife habitat. The company dismissed the lawsuit over the Bolsa View Park location pending a decision by the court of appeals on whether a vote of the people is required for the project, said City Attorney Jennifer McGrath.

"T-Mobile is dismissing the case, but they have the right to refile after the court of appeals makes a decision on the case," she said.

The cell tower saga between T-Mobile and Huntington Beach began after residents found out the city had authorized the wireless company to build two cell towers near residential areas at Harbour View Park and Bolsa View Park.

When residents protested, T-Mobile voluntarily decided to halt the project. The city then told T-Mobile it couldn't build in the parks without a vote of the people because the value of the project exceeded $100,000.

T-Mobile filed a lawsuit on the voting measure component and won. The city appealed, and the court's ruling is still pending.

The court also allowed T-Mobile to file another permit with the city for the project, but the City Council voted it down and completely revoked the permits.

T-Mobile filed another lawsuit for breach of contract.

In an effort to settle out of court, the city and T-Mobile began negotiations to come up with different locations. They came up with two compromised locations, at the Springdale Pump Station, 18401 Springdale St., and Huntington Harbour Mall.

The council again turned down T-Mobile's request, but only for one location, the Springdale Pump Station.

A week after turning down the Springdale Pump Station location, the council voted Jan. 17 to approve development and wireless permits for a cell tower designed as a flagpole at the Huntington Harbour Mall.

A court date on the appeal has not been set, McGrath said.


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