© 2004 Updated: 9/23/04


Channel 6 Wants To Expand Mount Morrison Towers

Denver PBS affiliate KRMA-Channel 6, and Colorado Public Radio FM stations KVOD and KUVO are proposing to build a tower on Mount Morrison. Site owner Bear Creek Development is proposing two alternatives for the 40-acre site zoned A-1 Special Use.

Plan A would replace the shortest of two existing towers with one 260 feet +40 antenna. Plan B would construct a web of five 60-foot towers on the east face of the mountain. The altitude of the Mount Morrison tower site is 8150 feet above sea level. No hearing dates have been scheduled.

The existing PBS/CPR tower has exceeded public radiation limits adjacent to the historic Boettcher Mansion conference center and Lookout Mountain Nature Center since 1992. The public stations were members of Lake Cedar Group of Denver broadcasters, which proposed a massive radiation increase that was denied in 1999.

The Genesee Foundation has established a campaign to withhold contributions to the public stations as protest for not moving to the Squaw Mountain Communications site, 15 miles west of the Mountain Backdrop. The 10,890-feet above sea level SMC site provides excellent coverage of the Denver metro area. Towers do not need to be higher than 200-feet and therefore do not require red paint or night lighting.

Above: An estimated 65 concerned citizens attended the first Mount Morrison tower replacement, “feedback” meeting on May 24, 2001.

Channel 6 station manager James Morgese has flatly refused to broadcast Len Aitken’s award-winning antenna farm documentary “Lookout Mountain.” Many local residents are outraged by Morgese’ insensitivity to their health and safety concerns. In a 9/28/01 letter responding to Lookout Mountain resident Monnie Barrett, Morgese states “There is so much misinformation being distributed about this…”

His example is: “The proposed (Lake Cedar Group) tower would have been no larger than the current 850 foot KCNC tower, however, opponents dubbed it the Supertower.” The proposed tower was 10 times wider than the 850-feet high KCNC-Channel 4 tower. The proposed 35,000 square foot tranmitter building would not be Mountain Backdrop compatible. Citizen video tapes recorded LCG representative James MacDermott introducing the term “Supertower” on May 28, 1998 at a public community meeting.

Morgese knows little about residential Lookout Mountain. He wrote, “… the answer is to have all of us working together to solve a problem of residential growth in an area that was once predominantly a tower site.”

Lookout Mountain has been “residential” since 1870; Frederick Law Olmstead designed a residential resort for 2,300 Lookout acres in 1890; the Lariat Trail brought accessibility to the mountain above Golden in 1914; William Cody was burried there in 1917; the entire area was platted for homes during the 1920s when thousands visited Buffalo Bill’s Grave, Beaver Brook Trail and area restaurants. Mount Vernon Country Club was established in 1922 and had 67 residential properties by 1928. Towers have never been compatible with the predominantly residential area.

JeffCo tax records list over 350 “improved properties” on Lookout Mountain before the first tower arrived (without informed consent of residents) in 1953. All JeffCo mountain plats were zoned residential in 1955. The industrial non-conforming use of residential-zoned land expanded from 100 to more than 1000 transmission devices from 1978 to 1998. Residential growth filled early plats during that same time period throughout JeffCo’s foothills.

For more about the Mount Morrison tower proposal, click here.

Many documents and details are available at www.c-a-r-e.org.