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In a significant victory for wireless telephone companies, a federal appeals court has ruled that when a municipality is ordered to grant zoning approval for an antenna tower, it cannot demand that the phone company also obtain a subdivision approval.

In its 78-page opinion in Ogden Fire Co. No. 1 v. Upper Chichester Township, a unanimous three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a pair of appeals brought by zoning officials to challenge orders requiring that they allow Sprint to erect a 133-foot antenna on the grounds of a firehouse.

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