MORRISTOWN, NJ - Morris County Superior Court Judge Stuart A. Minkowitz vacated his November ruling in favor of Chatham Township and in his "reconsideration" of the case granted New Cingular Wireless (AT&T)'s request for variances that will allow for the installation of cell antennas on the water tower located on Buxton Road in Chatham Township.
The Chatham Township Zoning Board of Adjustment was the defendant in the case. In the 23-page opinion, Judge Minkowitz said that zoning board had not provided "sufficient evidence on record" to deny the variances and concluded that the board's denial was "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable."
According to Chatham Township's board of adjustment attorney, Stephen H. Shaw, the board will discuss its appellate court options to the ruling during executive session of its work meeting on Feb. 10.
Judge Minkowitz originally ruled that the Chatham Township Board of Adjustment had been within its rights to deny the variances sought by AT&T. At the time of his ruling in November of 2015, he also expressed concerns about the case, leaving open a possible appeal by the plaintiff, AT&T.
AT&T first appealed the decision after the board of adjustment had voted 6-1 in 2014 to deny the variances sought to install the cell antennas in the residential neighborhood.