Towns opposed to cellular towers within their borders may dictate how and where the structures are built but must also show that those decisions won’t cause major gaps in wireless phone service, a federal appeals panel has ruled.

The Third Circuit’s Nov. 19 ruling affirmed a summary judgment that the Ho-Ho-Kus Board of Adjustment did not violate federal law in denying 13 variances to AT&T Wireless Services, Bell Atlantic Nynex Mobile and Nextel Communications for a cell tower.

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