A Penn Valley couple continues to experience frustration in regards to the permitting of a cell tower to be built on property adjacent to their own. The couple wants to build a home office on top of their garage that would put it above the ridge line at roughly the same height as the approved cell tower. The county approved the permit for the cell tower, but denied the permit for the home office that Juliet Erickson and Peter Lockyer wanted to build.
According to County Counsel Alllison Barrat-Green Lockeyer and Erickson sued the county claiming a violation of equal protection.
On March 26 the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District granted Nevada County’s motion to dismiss the couples legal challenge .
Click here to listen to County Counsel Allison Barratt-Green
In rejecting the claim, the Court held that the residential permit and the communications tower permit were distinctly different approvals subject to different requirements under the County’s Land Use and Development code. Since Erickson and Lockyer could not demonstrate that they were “similarly situated” to the cell tower applicant, the Court dismissed the federal equal protection claim without leave to amend their complaint.
The Federal Court declined to address the remaining state law claims and then dismissed the case. County Counsel expects Erickson and Lockyer to refile those claims in State Court.