Wireless Telecommunications, Infrastructure Security, and the NIMBY Problem


This article explores the clash between federal policies encouraging wireless communications services and the application of local land use regulations to the siting of telecommunications towers. It concludes that Congress’s effort to strike a balance in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 between local concerns on one hand and national commerce and homeland security on the other has proved vague in content and susceptible to procedural thickets that might make local parochialism impervious to challenge. The article suggests statutory changes, including time limitations and the creation of presumptions and safe harbor rules, that might better balance infrastructure development needs with local autonomy.


Communications Law | Environmental Law | Land Use Law

Date of this Version

September 2004