By Daniel Garay
To clear the air of speculation and suspense for concerned residents and the public, the City of Arcadia released new information on their interactions with Verizon over the cellular tower that has captured the opposition of many.
At the City Council meeting on March 21, City Attorney Stephen Deitsch, although not required by law, was authorized and directed by the Council to make a statement on pending litigation from Verizon to overturn the denial of its petitions.
Deitsch reported the denial of Verizon’s petitions for the cellular tower proposed to be built on the lot of the Church of the Transfiguration from the meeting on Feb. 21. Since then, Verizon had until March 22 to file a federal complaint while the deadline for a state complaint is set for May 22.
Verizon has made known that it is exploring legal options in a letter dated from Feb. 28, according to the City Attorney, requested tolling to match the federal deadline of March with the state in May.
A tolling agreement is where both parties agree to waive the statutes of limitation on claims so the parties can have more time to assess their cases. In this case Verizon wanted the statute of limitations waived for the federal deadline and extend it to the state deadline.
During the closed / study session on March 7, the Council approved Verizon’s request for tolling. The deadline for both, state and federal complaints, are matched to May 22.
Deitsch did make clear, that this does not allow Verizon to expand the record for the petitions, as the process has been closed by the City.
The City hopes that Verizon “will determine that it is not worthwhile to file litigation.”
In light of this revelation, Arcadians Against Residential Towers (AART) responded saying, “We appreciate the care and thoughtfulness the City has demonstrated in their handling of this difficult matter, and we hope that the City will continue to represent the citizen’s best interests going forward despite any challenges from Verizon.”