Earl Township v. Reading Broadcasting, Inc., 770 A 2d 794 (Pa. Commw. March 29, 2001).
Note: Appeal Denied
Owner of proposed tower for television broadcasting and wireless communication service claimed to be exempt from local zoning regulations as a “public utility”. The court ruled that private corporations providing wireless communication services are not generally considered ‘public utilities’ and are subject to zoning regulations. Under the PUC Code, providers of mobile domestic cellular radio telecommunications services, even though regulated by the FCC, are excluded from the definition of public utility. In this case, a television broadcaster, transmitting paging and radio telephone signals as part of its television broadcasting signals, claimed to be a “common carrier” and therefore a Public utility under the Township’s zoning ordinance. The court found that the proposed use was not a public utility for the purpose of zoning regulations because its principal business was television broadcasting.
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