The California Supreme Court has dismissed a case involving San Diego County's antenna ordinance because the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the ordinance last year.
Adopted in 2003, the ordinance created a four-tier system for granting conditional use permits for wireless telecommunications facilities. The level of review and amount of information required depended on the location, visibility and height of the proposed structures. Nearly one year ago, the Ninth Circuit invalidated the ordinance because its discretionary provisions and public hearing requirements ran afoul of the federal Telecommunications Act. (Sprint Telephony PCS, LP v. County of San Diego, (9th Circuit 2007) 490 F. 3d, 700; see CP&DR Legal Digest, May 2007).
Before the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion, the state high court had decided to review a Fourth District Court of Appeal decision upholding the San Diego County ordinance (see CP&DR Legal Digest, August 2006). The Fourth District said the federal Ninth Circuit was getting antenna cases wrong by ruling that localities may not regulate the aesthetics of antennas in the public right of way.
But the state Supreme Court said the Ninth Circuit decision in the San Diego County case made moot the state court lawsuit over similar issues. The case is Sprint Telephony PCS v. County of San Diego, No. S145541.