ANTENNA TOWER - SPECIAL REPORT
Denver TV Stations want Supertower on Lookout Mountain
The first Supertower proposal by Lake Cedar Group, LLC was denied by County Commissioners in July, 1999. Denver TV stations channels 4, 7, 9, & 20 are back proposing another Supertower on the some of the same 82.63 acres that have been denied five times. Planning Commission hearings begin at 6 p.m. on April 9. County Commissioners may not hear the case until June.
PR and engineer consultants for the huge media corporations that own the stations have gained constant delays and revisions for nearly three years. The industry finally agreed upon a standard technology for digital TV in January, 2003. The Denver broadcasters’ spin is "consolidation" of antenna towers to add DTV and many more RF devices to the residential area.
Lookout Mountain resident Joan says "Instead of four analog towers that will go away, they want to pour everything onto one and add unlimited more that will stay in the residential area forever"" The consolidation does not reduce 90% of the radiation now produced by FOX-31/32, KWGN, KCEC, and FM antennas. "LCG wants more pollution on one tower."
The 730-foot tower, based at 7100 feet altitude, would be painted red and white and have flashing red lights at night. Radio frequency radiation would be directly pollute popular public historic sites, Ralston Elementary School, Mount Vernon Country Club and an estimated 1000 homes at higher altitudes.
CARE attorney Deb Carney has provided three sets of "initial comments" to JeffCo planners. "LCG wants to add 5 million watts of digital power with no limit on future additions. LCG’s claim that broadcast radiation (RF) will be reduced is limited in scope and valid for only a limited area." LCG also wants a 100-year, 20,000 square foot industrial building within the Mountain Backdrop that JeffCo taxpayers have paid $50 million to preserve.
CARE has three primary concerns beginning with LCG inaccurately represented proof of water tap to comply with Planned Development zoning. Lookout Mountain Water District informed JeffCo that LCG does not own a commercial water tap required for Planned Development.
The second concern is LCG’s spin that the nonconforming industrial use of residential land "will remain forever" is false. Carney testified, "In past pleadings with the FCC and JeffCo District Court, LCG claimed they could not add digital to their nonconforming towers and their analog towers will soon become obsolete because the FCC is taking back the analog frequencies. Defending the county from litigation filed by KCNC-Channel 4, Assistant County Attorney Tim Cox pleaded, "The law in Colorado strongly disfavors legal nonconforming uses and encourages their elimination at the earliest possible time."
Third is for LCG’s "consolidation" mythology. Removing four of 47 towers on Lookout Mountain does not put a dent in cleaning up the nonconforming use of the residential area. The never permitted Channel 9 radar tower is required to be removed by law. "Bringing Channel 20 over from Mt. Morrison does not consolidate the Channel 20 tower that remains on Mt. Morrison. The proposed building size of 20,000 square feet would serve many more than four stations. Carney suspects LCG plans to "bring in substantially more broadcasters and further increase the radiation and interference problems to the community."
LCG spin doctors falsely declare "the RF environment is expected to improve." More antennas for more services means more radiation. The proposed antenna pattern would double RF pollution of the residential community.
Other concerns are: the proof that Squaw Mountain Communications is a viable alternative; LCG supertower will disturb the "quiet zone" in Boulder. The proposed size and weight of the supertower requires "extra heavy guy cables" to bear the heavy load the tower is expected to hold.
Carney concludes the proposed tower is intended as a lucrative enterprise far beyond complying with the requirement to add DTV antennas. It would severly pollute the area for at least 50 more years, long after analog is outdated and removed.
Channels 4, 6, 7, 9, & 20 propose Supertower on Residential Lookout Mountain
The local consolidated broadcast corporate name is Lake Cedar Group, LLC. The first proposal was denied by County Commissioners in 1999. Planning Commission hearings for a "changed" proposal will be heard in February. Lookout Mountain resident Joan Rossberg questions the rationale of the proposal.
"Instead of four towers that will go away, they want to pour everything onto one and add unlimited more that will stay in the residential area forever""
The proposal does not reduce 80% of the radiation now produced by FOX-31/32, KWGN, KCEC, and 8 FM antennas. LCG wants more area pollution from one tower.
Lake Cedar Group Prepares Second Tower Application
After holding public relations "open house" receptions at the JeffCo Airport, El Rancho restaurant and the Boettcher Mansion in April 2002, Lake Cedar Group, LLC (Channels 4, 6, 7, 9, & 20) held the required "community meeting" at the County Administration building in Golden (7 miles from the effected community) on April 16.
Public realtions "facilitator" Fred Niehaus, KCNC-Channel 4 station manager Marv Rockford, and five technical/planning consultants seemed surprised by the intelligent, well-researched, and specific questions from approximately 75 citizens. The consultants promised to call a second meeting to answer questions.
Community trust of Denver TV stations is so limited that only six citizens attended the second meeting on May 29 at the Golden Community Center (8 miles from the effected community). LCG consultants have met with each County Commissioner and reply to questions from potentially impacted citizen with, "We are working that out with the county."
This will be the 4th Planned Development application on land owned primarily by Channel 20, which operates a broadcast antenna on the 350-foot Mt. Morrison tower. "There is an obvious assumption that the TV stations can wear down citizens and government officials," assessed CARE attorney Deb Carney.
Three high-power Lookout tower sitesKWGN-TV 2, FOX-TV 31/32 and Clear Channel FM radionow cause 70% of the pollution and are not included with this consolidation. The LCG proposal is for increased radiation and interference from more microwaves, television signals, satellite dishes, and wireless antennas. The illegal Channel 9 radar tower is being withheld as a "bargaining chip" to keep health and safety concerns inside the "political" arena.
Niehaus believes there will never be two of three JeffCo Commissioners willing to do the right thing and force removal of the non-conforming towers. State law supports such removal but Niehaus proclaims, "Without this consolidation, four towers will remain forever."
No application has been filed. The LCG portion of $1.7 million total assessed value of Lookout tower land is $377,300. LCG owners portion of $38,368 total tower land real estate taxes is $9,590.
Facts about Planned Development tower permit
Many documents and details are available at www.c-a-r-e.org.