Virginia bills would strip locality cell tower control

(Carl Lender / CC BY 2.0)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Bills making their way through the Virginia General Assembly may improve wireless access and service throughout the state while stripping localities of their land-use authorities.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the bills backed by Verizon and other telecommunication companies would allow wireless towers shorter than 50 feet to be installed without requiring companies get local approval through certain means.

Senate Bill 405 passed the House Commerce and Labor Committee Tuesday and House Bill 1258 moved through the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee Monday.

Both bills cap project processing fees at $500 and create a new administrative review process for eligible wireless infrastructure. They also would prohibit localities from rejecting a company's claim that taller towers are needed to improve service.

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