VT Supreme Court Upholds PSB Approval of Bennington Tower
On November 19, 2015, the Vermont Supreme Court decided in favor of VTel Wireless, Inc. and upheld the Public Service Board’s approval of a telecommunications tower in Bennington, Vermont. This decision marks only the second Section 248a decision by Vermont’s highest court, both of which were decided in favor of DRM’s clients. The case centered on whether the Board properly denied neighboring landowners’ motion to intervene and request for a hearing on account of the Project’s aesthetic impacts. In affirming the decision below, the Court emphasized the thoroughness of VTel’s evidence before the Board. The Court also stressed that the neighbors received considerable detail about the Project in VTel’s prefiling notice and had ample notice of the requisite showing to secure a hearing. The Court concluded that the record fully supported the Board’s findings and that it acted well within its discretion in approving the Project without holding hearing. In light of this conclusion, the Court did not need to reach the Board’s ruling on intervention.