Crown Castle Seeks Relief from “Excessive” Permit Fees 

Crown Castle is protesting what it says are unreasonable permit fees to deploy wireless infrastructure in the rights-of-way in Santa Barbara County, California. In a filing made toward the end of August, Crown tells a U.S. District Court the deployment of “critical wireless telecommunications infrastructure” is a national priority.

The company says in its complaint the county is “inhibiting” its efforts, “by attempting to impose unlawful and excessive fees that do not reflect the county’s actual costs.” Crown calls the fees “unreasonable,” and says they exceed the amounts the FCC has recognized as reasonable.

The county has “demanded payment of excessive application fees as a precondition to processing its applications,” Crown tells the court. It says the situation has put the company in an “untenable” position.
On July 1, the county increased its conditional use permit fees for node applications, says Crown. They range from $8,045 for a minor conditional use permit to $13,925 for development that requires a conditional use permit per a specific zone. Crown is seeking relief from the fees.

The county has not responded as of press time. The case is 2:19-cv-07514 in U.S. District Court of Western California.