ANTENNA TOWER - SPECIAL REPORT
JeffCo TelCom regulation "Housekeeping" charade
JeffCo Planner Nick Morgan used lots of time and paper in 2002 to flush out broadcasters not wanting any tower regulation "loopholes" closed and citizens wanting more protection.
After County Commissioners routinely approved continued protection of the polluters in October, Morgan transferred to JeffCo Community Relations in November.
Planner Steve Brown had been assigned to further "housekeeping." Brown was the assigned planner for the Lake Cedar Group supertower. Planner Susan Wood, manager of the Eldorado tower proposal, is now evaluating the LCG supertower.
JeffCo planners want to update telcom "definitions"
The Planning Department mailed 750 "Public Input" post cards postmarked February 5, 2002 for Telecommunications Zoning term clarification. The industry met collectively on February 12 and agreed to lobby for continuance by claiming "not enough timely public notice." On March 6, 2002, JeffCo Planning Commission granted broadcast and wireless representatives a continuance until May 8 to consider "clarification" of telecom land use definitions.
Long-term planner Nick Morgan organized a "workshop" on April 15 for citizens and industry to discuss clarification. Of 37 who attended, 30 were paid industry representatives, 3 were paid county employees and 4 citizens volunteered their time. Morgan and planner Russel Clark said the Zoning Administrator and Board of Adjustment requested clarification to deal with current industry applications. CARE began requesting clarification in 1997.
Several representatives for Tribune-owned KWGN-TV, Clear Channel Corporation and Lake Cedar Group protested clarifying antenna exchanges for same use. "Digital television is not the same service as analog. It requires a separate FCC license and is a difference technology," said citizen engineer Al Hislop. He said existing adverse effects of RF interference for residents and business in the Greater Golden area must be reduced and phased out.
Representing 9,000 residents of Mount Vernon Canyon, attorney Deb Carney said "If DTV is allowed to be added or replace analog, the nonconforming use in the historic residential area would last forever. Lake Cedar Group admitted this in 1998" that the JeffCo resolution does not allow DTV."
The antenna tower resolutions were adopted in 1993. In 2002 applications to the FCC to extend digital construction permits, TV Channels 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 20 and 50 blame Jefferson County for "increasingly restrictive" interpretation of zoning regulations. The Lake Cedar Group representative said they want the FCC to control JeffCo land use.
On May 8, 2002, an estimated 55 citizens of Mount Vernon Canyon conducted an organized march at the county administration building. They carried huge signs "Stop the Tower" and "Justice Delayed is Justice Denied" referring to the county’s promise to phase out the non-conforming industrial tower use of Lookout Mountain. Inside the building, the Planning Commission continued the "clarification" issue until July 3.