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Florida town embroiled in easement dispute over cell tower

Serving Families Throughout Fort Walton Beach

An easement grants permission for an individual or company to use someone else's property. However, it is sometimes the case that the easement holder has plans for the property that others disagree with. Such is the case right now in one Florida town. Residents of Bradenton Beach gathered at a recent commissioners' meeting to try to resolve an easement dispute regarding a proposed cell tower.

According to reports, Florida Tower Partners obtained the rights to place a cell tower at the location of the public works building. A land lease agreement was approved in Oct. 2013. During an early January meeting, a representative of the company turned in easement requests to keep the process moving forward; however, opponents of the tower were there to voice their disapproval. Among them was the vice mayor, who was the only person to vote against the easements.

Florida Tower Partners is arguing that the tower's proposed location offers the best coverage for the areas it will serve. The company further states that if another location is used, it could possibly mean weaker coverage and the need for an additional tower. Residents who live near the proposed site are concerned about the impact it will have in their neighborhood. One resident submitted a petition signed by 70 opponents.

Although the majority of town commissioners voted to approve the easements, the mayor offered to discuss the matter further in an effort to end the easement dispute. When situations like this occur, it can be hard to find a resolution that will satisfy both sides. It may benefit both sides to seek advice from an objective third party who is familiar with the real estate laws in our state.

Source: The Anna Maria Islander, New year, old battles for city of Bradenton Beach, Mark Young, Jan. 7, 2014

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