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U.S. Cellular is taking a Milwaukee suburb to court after resident protests prompted local officials to reject a permit to build a cellular tower.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Chicago carrier — the nation's fifth largest — sought a permit to build the 120-foot tower in a residential neighborhood of Menomonee Falls, Wis.

A local group organized a campaign opposing the tower and showed up to a December village board meeting to voice their concerns.

The board unanimously rejected the permit, with some members also citing potential impacts on property values and opposition from firefighter groups. But the village president warned at the time that state and federal law generally prevent rejecting cell tower projects for aesthetic or public safety reasons.

U.S. Cellular last week responded with a lawsuit that asked the Waukesha County Circuit Court to vacate the board's vote.

"Legal action is never our chosen course," company officials told the Journal Sentinel. "However, in this case, it was and is necessary. The village has no legal basis upon which to deny the permit and this denial will have significant long-term implications for our ability to serve our customers in the area."

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