ANTENNA TOWER - SPECIAL REPORT
KUSA will remove unauthorized Radar
In response to a civil court action filed by JeffCo against KUSA TV Channel 9, the station agreed to remove its 1.55 million-watt weather radar unit on a residential-zoned Lookout Mountain lot. The tower and radar device were never permitted by JeffCo. The civil action was filed in response to a CARE complaint.
KUSA (owned by Gannett Corporation) has consented to remove the weather radar device by December 31, 2003. A electronic news gathering device will remain on the illegal tower until an alternative tower is determined. JeffCo reserves the right to reinstate litigation in 2005 if the ENG device has not been removed and the tower must be dismantled.
In a January, 2003 editorial, the Rocky Mountain News endorsed the Lake Cedar Group proposed supertower and ties the Channel 9 weather radar tower in with other proposed tower removal. The JeffCo-KUSA agreement simply states that the radar tower is listed for removal in the LCG proposal. The agreement does not endorse approval of the LCG Supertower.
Channel 9 Radar never permitted by FCC or JeffCo
Gannett Corporations KUSA-TV has apparently been operating a radar device on a Lookout Mountain tower since the late 1970s.
Jefferson County was never approached for approval of the expansion of the nonconforming site zoned residential since 1924. KUSA is a Supertower member of Lake Cedar Group applying for another tower in 2003. The LCG proposal DOES NOT COMMIT TO remove the radar tower. Jefferson County litigation against the corporation is in District Court in December, 2002.
JeffCo cites KUSA-Channel 9
A May 17, 2001 JeffCo zoning violation notice states:
Weather Radar facility erected on this site (21090 Cedar Lake Road on Lookout Mountain), circa 1979, was built without proper County approval. Additional processes, up to and including a rezoning are required to legalize this use.
JeffCo has 1971 photos that clearly show that the Channel 9 Radar tower did not exist at that time. The RF device can send 1.5 billion watts every 63 seconds directly at more than 1000 high altitude homes in the area. CARE has been requesting the removal of the tower and device for the past three years.
JeffCo says it is fining the Gannett-owned station $50 per day, but has not taken the station to court.
Many documents and details are available at www.c-a-r-e.org.