© 2004 Updated: 9/21/04


Jefferson County Commissioner Hearing - July 8, 2003
5-10 pm - Rezoning for Lake Cedar Group Supertower

The Commissioners granted an LCG request presented by JeffCo Planner Susan Wood to have a 30 minute break after public testimony before their final rebuttal of one hour. She reported that the county’s RF consultant Jim Hart agrees with citizen engineer Al Hislop that "radiation would increase in all directions" from the proposed tower. A 15-page report of Hislop’s calculations was provided by CARE.

Wood also provided a 7/7/03 memorandum by Zoning Administrator Tim Carl that declares "The hypothetical modification to the existing antennas owned by LCG would constitute an extension of the legal nonconforming use, which is prohibited under Section 6.A.5 of the Zoning Resolution." This is opposite to LCG’s constant propoganda that the mountain would always be the same without approval of the rezoning.

Jay Jacobsmeyer, engineer for Bear Creek Development which owns antenna tower land at the summit of Mount Morrison, said. "We can accommodate LCG digital and analog… Since the life span of analog is limited, it may not be cost effective to move it… The LCG claim for needing 2,500 sq. ft. per station is unusual… We have offered MM 1,000 sq. ft. each for three stations that would move to the 14,000 sq. ft. approved recently. Channel 20 can add digital immediately at our 300-foot tower where they operate analog…

Commissioner Holloway (who opposed Sheehan and Lawrence approval of replacing a Mt. Morrison tower in March 2003) wondered why only one television station had moved over (Channel 6) to the permitted 14,000 square feet. Jacobsmeyer answered "The FM radio antenna can handle 10 stations and each of them will require several hundred square feet (of building)… There are other tenants (channels 14, 59 and 63) that will use the new building. Commissioner Sheehan asked if Jacobsmeyer agrees that LCG needs 10,000 square feet of industrial building space. Jacobsmeyer answered that the four LCG stations could operate with 1,000 square feet… "except for Channel 20 which is already on the 300-foot tower and can add digital today, so there are really three LCG stations that need space (a total of 3,000 sf)… technically, they can each operate both analog and digital with 1,000 square feet of building space."

In response Commissioner Sheehan’s questions, Jacobsmeyer said that all four stations (Channels 4, 6, 7, 9) could remove their towers and buildings and move to Mount Morrison. Sheehan asked about frequency conflicts. Jacobsmeyer said, "There is a point of view that adjacent channels should be colocated to prevent interference with each other… but that issue has already been addressed by the FCC." More than a third of assigned channels nationwide have been changed by the FCC to prevent interference. He said some RF levels would be increased "slightly" at some areas if the stations all moved to Mt. Morrison.

Two hours later, attorney for Bear Creek Development that owns the Mt. Morrison antenna tower land, Leo Bradley testified. "I have never opposed a rezoning case in all my years in JeffCo… We have a 20-year lease with Channel 20 that expires May 1, 2008… BCD is permitted to have a building of 7,000 square feet. They have built 4,500 square feet so we have about 2,500 square feet of building left over if that Channel 20 site (existing 300 foot high, lighted tower)… We have to get as many tenants on that tower as possible to support consolidation in JeffCo…

"The Channel 20 tower was approved by the Board of County Commissioners in 1987. The tower holds Channels 20 and14 , police and fire antennas for the City and County of Denver, KIMN FM radio and several smaller users. If a lease is not renegotiated, the building and tower become property of BCD. The ODP allows 2,500 square feet more to be added to the building. We can accomodate Lake Cedar Group on the 300-foot tower or the PIC—Public Interest Communications (KRMA-TV, KUVO & KVOD FM) tower complex approved in March 2003. Channel 20 can add DTV, KIMN can move to the master FM antenna (planned to serve 10 FM radio stations) on the new tower." The low power TVs, Channel 23 and 63 can be located on the Channel 20 tower after KIMN moves. Mt. Morrison can take the three Lookout Mountain stations 4, 7, 9 digital antennas on the PIC tower and provide the following building space to total 14,000 square feet: 10 FMs @ 400 sq.ft.= 4,000; Channels 4, 7, 9 @ 2,500 sq.ft. each= 7,500; Channel 6 Analog & Digital= 1,000; Channel 59 Analog & Digital= 1,000; Combiner Room = 500.

"There is no urgent need to approve this LCG application. The analogs can remain on Lookout until digital takes over. This permits evaluation of the upcoming CSU study before more antennas are approved for Lookout Mountain." The existing effective radiated power of KIMN-FM and TV Channels 14 and 20, 23, 59, 63 on two Mt. Morrison towers is 11,500,000 watts. The approved rezoning (legally challenged by CARE) could built out at 20 million watts. "Channel 20 can start broadcasting DTV from where they are now… KIMN-FM is going to move to the new PIC tower (permitted in March, 2003)… We can take all (LCG) the other DTV antennas on that new tower… We can take 4, 7, and 9 with no questions asked even… and we are going to take Channel 6 off Lookout… LCG owes JeffCo a lot… I would be glad to sit down with (LCG) and see how we can solve this problem… We are willing to take 4, 7, 9 digital to Mt. Morrison and not charge them any rent for two to three years while you are thinking about what you would like to do… That’s all I have to say."

Commissioner Sheehan said, "I thought you were going to offer us South Table Mountain for a second…." (laughter) Bradley said, "The Lake Cedar people do not want to hurt the residents of this county…"

Jake Mola represented the Red Rocks Park neighborhood that oppose increases on both Lookout Mountain and Mount Morrison. "I am in awe with the caliber of expertise speaking in opposition to this tower… what I have to offer is common sense… what I want out of this situation to for things to get better… technology is changing so fast… there has to be some kind of enforcement… these antenna owners should be held responsible for interference and health effects… They should not have the right to come into our community and do whatever they want in perpetuity… I look to you to protect us…"

Tj Carney of Lookout Mountain said, "I grew up in Golden before there were towers. My mother lived there from 1949 until 1968. She may be one of many who lived there for years, developed brain tumors after moving away, and were not included with the state health department count… I have lived in the Genesee - Lookout Mountain area since 1984. I have been active in our community where… people volunteer their time and professionals skills to help one another and protect the neighborhood… this is where I live. I feel great sadness when I hear someone suggest, if you don’t like these towers, why don’t you just move?… We have tried to sell our house for four years, not to leave the community, but to move to a lower location out of the way of the direct beams. We have had one offer that fell through because of the ongoing threat of more towers… You don’t abandon community… You don’t dump the problem onto someone else… You work to solve the problem. There are 10,000 residents that I am not going to abandon. Part of the solution is for you to deny this tower. Then complete what began in 1991 and remove all nonconforming land use causing a serious adverse impact on neighboring properties in another three years…"

Commissioner Holloway asked for clarification about amortization. Carney explained that JeffCo staff recommended remove the towers through amortization in 1991. Commissioner Sheehan said, " Tj, would you delineate the notion of consolidation versus amortization? Proposals are for consolidating these towers and eventually moving them as time goes on…" Carney said, "Mr. Chairman… I quote Mr. Hart’s statement that you can’t put towers and increase the power… where people are. There are people here: children, families, schools, elderly, single, married. When you consolidate in communities where people have their lives invested, you are not solving the problem. Amortization does not tear up communities."

Dr. Colin Barton (video) of Genesee is President of CARE. "You have head the technical and medical… I want to add common sense. I look at the big picture, the long term. Consolidation is really expansion in a residential area where they should never have been allowed… don’t approve any new towers and eventually remove the old ones and the Mountain Backdrop will be clean just as the taxpayers intended it to be… "

Joan Raymond of Lookout Mountain, has two daughters and is concerned for their health. "I hope this industry is not just like tobacco… please remove the towers."

Ellen Lyons of Golden can’t sell her remodeled 2100 sq.ft. home with gorgeous views near the towers. "I have spent $60,000 upgrading this house… Realtors have shown it to 30 potential buyers who are either afraid of health effects or don’t like the aesthetics of the towers or are waiting to see the LCG outcome… when I moved there in 1994, there were no discussion of a Supertower… I have seen constant unpermitted changes to the towers, often in the middle of the night… we did not consent to allow this… "

Amy Martin of Lookout Mountain, on behalf of her husband Jim Martin, an electrical engineer for Lockheed Martin, presented a scientific report Children are at Higher Risk to Electromagnetic Radiation Exposure. "When we moved to Mount Vernon Country Club 12 years ago, there was no information available to the public about the possible health effects from the antenna towers. Now, according to Dr. Don Maish of the EPA, we know that children are more vulnerable than adults to cancer risks… children are more affected by higher radio frequencies… EMR guidelines are based on effects on the adult human body… children are more vulnerable to the lower wave length of DTV signals, from 483 to 602 MHz, which is closer to their height… The peak absorption of EMR from DTV frequencies is one foot. A child’s developing torso or an adult’s head is about one foot. The absorption rate for a child could be as much as 20 times more than an adult… This ODP would allow 4 more broadcast transmitters in addition to 18 now on Lookout. There is no legally binding restriction on Antenna Patterns (anything under 360 degrees is directional)… To protect citizens, particularly the children, no increases in Electromagnetic Radiation, especially at the higher DTV frequencies, should be allowed on Lookout Mountain."

Netta Esser of Golden is newly married and afraid to have children in the area.

Penny Clarke of Lookout Mountain is a Ph.D. biologist at CU Medical Center. "The study by CSU scientists funded by National Institute of Health will not be peer reviewed until 2006… All those towers may have to come down when the results are published. Unless you are 100% sure of no health risks, you must not approve this tower. Consolidation must be away from people… "

Murray Wynes of Lookout Mountain is a Ph. D. Immunologist. "Our home in Paradise Hills is at 7500 feet altitude with direct line-of-site southwest of the towers. We live in Block 3 where significant number of cancer cases were reported in the 1999 state survey. The testimony of Doctors Frankel and Kelly are accurate and offered voluntarily without financial compensation. They would not put their highly respected reputations on the line unless there was a valid concern… Having served the Army for six years, I clearly understand sacrificing lives… to protect freedom and liberty and life itself, not for allowing television transmitters in a residential zoned neighborhood. Thomas Jefferson spoke of inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… permitting this tower would deny citizens of those rights… People do not die without television. People do die from cancer."

Priscilla Bates of Lookout Mountain has lived in Paradise Hills for 35 years. "My husband died of cancer three years ago. He was a Veteran of World War II… He served the community, the water board, and loved his retirement… Unfortunately, his favorite thing to do at night was to listen to music and read the paper in a chair that was direct line-of-site of the tower on Mount Morrison. His cancer was in his throat on the same side as the radiation exposure… Many dogs in the community are dying of cancer… I don’t see how you as elected County Commissioners can put the interests of a private company ahead of the health of your constituents."

Jeannie Roscoe of Lookout Mountain purchased her property in 1969. "We have listened to the arguments of how they want more and more, over and over again, for years. Yet nowhere have we head any real reason why JeffCo Commissioners should be expected to worry about such matters as the signals reaching Boulder… or the most acceptable and cheapest broadcast location… The quality of life in our community does not matter to them… our property values, our health and safety does not matter to them… Please protect us your constituents."

Al Cooper, Jr. of Lookout Mountain said, "After examining the radiation at a massive hydroelectric plant in New York, Dr. Robert O. Becker got a judge to decree a 5-year moratorium on any more EMR. The National Council of Radiation Protection recommends a much more stringent standard… some governments around the country and institutions like John Hopkins Medical Center and an Air Force base have established more stringent standards. When in doubt of safety, erring on the side of caution is a more intelligent approach than the reckless abandon which we have thus far embraced."

Dick Over of Lookout Mountain has lived in Panorama Estates since 1953. "We live in direct line-of-site of the towers… we watched them expand from two towers to four, then explode with towers everywhere on land zoned residential. In 1970, I attempted to start a business of duplicating audio tapes for school districts for reading tapes. The interference caused cross-talk on the tapes… even public service could not help because a lot of it was coming into the house on the electric power lines… I had to abandon the business… Many people in line toward the towers from my house have died of cancer… I hope you will deny this application."

Mark Hesse of Golden believes LCG has classic hidden agenda. "Replacing old outdated towers with a massive new tower and building does not improve the visual impact on Lookout Mountain. How do you add 9 million more watts and improve the health effects? LCG attempts to discredit scientific data presented by citizens… Why do they want 20,000 square feet when they are using less than 4,000 now? Obviously, they intend to significantly expand the site in the future… If LCG was truly concerned about safety, why would they want their tower in a residential area? As the old saying goes, You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig."

Victor Holm of Lakewood is a scientist who supports the rezoning. He has been assessing ionizing radiation for many years. "The research on nonionizing radiation is uncertain. We make decisions based on Standards. The proposal meets today’s standards."

Marston (Stoney) Shelton of Golden is opposed to the proposal. "This proposed tower would be about one kilometer from my front door… (and) a few hundred yards from my parents Hal and Mary Shelton. They bought their home in 1953… broadcast television was just beginning… They had no idea that one of the largest residentially located antenna farms in the world would grow in their back yard… My parents have had a lifelong interest in Jefferson County, its schools and its children. My father served on the R1 School Board for 11 years… During his tenure, about 35 schools were built… My mother was recently honored for serving the Jefferson County League of Women Voters for 50 years.

"Hal and Mary were both thrilled and deeply touched when JeffCo chose to name a new school after them… in 1994. Shelton Elementary is one of five public schools in the immediate area surrounding the towers. If, as we fear, there is a link between proximity to the towers and dramatically increased health risks, especially for children, then Shelton Elementary School, honoring Hal and Mary, will forever bear the distinction of being one of the most environmentally dangerous schools in Colorado. I chose to buy a house here where I grew up. It is the most beautiful place to raise a family… Please don’t force us to move from our home. Don’t make the Supertower your legacy as County Commissioners…"

Dave Sauer of Lookout Mountain already experiences too much RF interference. "My garage door opens spontaneously… my parents had tumors removed… now somebody wants more money in their pocket and we would get more radiation… all for a better TV picture… I can turn TV off. I can’t turn the radiation off. Please don’t approve this tower."

Margo Zallen said, "As a 32-year resident of Lookout Mountain… and citizen working for 30 years to preserve the scenic vistas of Jefferson County, I have a long history of protecting the key lands in our county as both a board member and chairwoman of Plan JeffCo. This proposal should be denied… towers and industrial buildings would forever scar our scenic backdrop… Buildings the size of a King Soopers do not belong on our valued mountain backdrop. Neither does a 730 foot high tower, 30 feet wide on its sides, with a 4000 square foot tower face…

"On November 24, 1998, you approved the OSAC proposed preservation of the Front Range Mountain Backdrop… as this unique land form that is suitable for scenic preservation, land form preservation, trail purposes, wildlife, habitat and natural resource preservation. To implement this critical preservation effort, County Commissioners have expended $56.4 million of our money to preserve these key lands… Do not approve its defacement… It is contrary to the intent of the 72% of the voters who voted to approve the SOS bonds so the county would preserve its scenic lands… I urge you to use your police powers to deny this proposal."

Sonja Carney of Denver worked with research biologist Dr. Henry Lai at University of Washington while completing her B.A. degree. "One of the main things I learned is how fast health research is changing… We know that no results does not mean positive or negative results… You should not approve this tower while we are waiting for research outcomes."

Dave Vennitti of Lookout Mountain is an electrical engineer that has helped CARE measure RFR at hundreds of homes in the area since 1999. "I have researched the interference problems in the community. This proposal is actually worse than the 1998 proposal. This one is lower on the mountain… guy wires would be huge… interference remediation is needed for Class B consumer electronics, not between broadcast antennas… Much like Rocky Flats, 50 years ago this might have been a good place to put towers. But it isn’t any more… It took many years to clean up and restore Rocky Flats. It was a long process. It first started with sombody’s vision. I hope that this Commission has the vision of restoring the pristine Mountain Backdrop."

Helen Feiner of Golden is a parent and homeowner. "I am frightened at the possibility of this tower being put up in my neighborhood. I am angry that people would come to my neighborhood and endanger the lives of my family and welfare. When we bought our home last year, we had no idea the Supertower had been proposed. We were told the towers were nonconforming and coming down… We have worked hard to be able to make a home for our family… I don’t feel our family and community should be sacrificed for the sake of a dollar and higher definition television." Commissioner Holloway asked who told her the towers were coming down. Feiner answered it was commonly understood in the community.

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