© 2002 Updated: 6/18/02


“Grandfathered” Economic Terrorism

The only difference between Enron controlling SEC accounting rules and broadcasters controlling FCC electrosmog rules is that Enron got caught. Or, more precisely, the mass media reported Enron’s sociopathic greed. The media doesn’t report the economic terrorism of broadcast towers in residential areas.

Below: Lookout Mountain resort developer rees Vidler's office in 1915

Broadcast attorneys have threatened JeffCo with “Takings” litigation for 20 years, while electromagnetic radiation pollution quadrupled on residential Lookout Mountain. Jefferson County Commissioners Clement & Clement, Martin, Tomsic, Ferdinandsen, Stanbro, Stone, Laura and Miller all gave in to the spin-control blame of citizen victims.

Family property owners and world-class historical, cultural and scenic sites were sacrificed for massive corporate profits without any benefit to JeffCo taxpayers. Government permissiveness fueled 20 times more radio frequency interference for 30,000 Greater Golden residents and businesses, including 3,000 residents living legitimately at the same or higher elevation as the non-conforming, antenna-tower base altitudes on Lookout Mountain.

Below: Mutilated by Tribune and Clear Channel Corporations (the same view in 2000)

For the past five years, citizens have battled attempts to continue the tradition. Jefferson County Commissioners are discovering that they are not responsible for the media business. They are elected to protect the health, safety and welfare of Jefferson County citizens. Commissioners Lawrence, Sheehan and Holloway need to do some “Takings Law” homework.

Authors Christopher Duerksen and Richard Roddewig clarify the facts in “Takings Law in Plain English” (published by Clarion Associates, 1998). “The framers of the United States Constitution enshrined in the Fifth Amendment is one of the most fundamental of individual rights—to own property free of the threat of seizure by government, unless the government pays for it.” Since 1776, the courts have appropriately interpreted the constitution so that one land owner cannot use his property for purposes that threaten the quality of life of neighbors and an entire community.

Local, state and the U.S. Supreme Court decisions consistently say the “best and highest use of land” is not necessarily what makes the most money for the owner. Reasonable local zoning regulations are more powerful than a non-conforming hog farmer, billboard profiteer, antenna farmer, whorehouse, car wash, toxic dump or crack house.

“No one has an absolute right to use his land in a way that may harm the public health or welfare, or that damages the quality of life of neighboring landowners… Historical precedent and recent case law make clear that reasonable land use and environmental regulations will have little trouble withstanding constitutional scrutiny in the vast majority of cases…

“Courts have outlined several broad factors to be considered — economic impact of a regulation, public purpose of the regulation, and character of the government action… Property owners have a right to a reasonable return or use of their land, but the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the most profitable use…

“Courts have upheld a wide variety of purposes as valid reasons for enacting environmental and land use regulations, including pollution prevention, resource protection, historic preservation, design controls, and scenic view protection.” The integrity of National Register of Historical Places (the cultural and scenic heritage of the central foothills) — Lariat Scenic Drive, Buffalo Bill’s Grave, Pahaska Lodge, Lookout Mountain Park, Colorow Point, Boettcher Mansion, Mother Cabrini’s Orphanage, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre and Magic Mountain paleonotology site — can be restored.

Jefferson County Commissioners can utilize Colorado law that empowers them to adopt a six-month moratorium, without a public hearing, to prevent erection of any structure while planning appropriate regulations to protect citizens. The elected Commissioners have the power to terminate nonconforming land use (intended to be temporary) by specifying a time period for landowners to vacate, and paying just compensation for the land.

The just compensation for an estimated 17-acres of Lookout Mountain antenna-tower land that now pays $38,167 in real estate taxes (see Lookout Tower Owners) could be as generous as $3 million. Commissioners Holloway, Lawrence and Sheehan have the power to replat and zone the land to sell for the highest and best possible use of extraordinary scenic views — a world-class restaurant (Flagstaff or Briarwood) and event center by 2006. All JeffCo taxpayers would gain ten times more revenue in real estate and sales taxes by 2010.

CARE petitioned JeffCo Commissioners on December 9, 2001 requesting amortized elimination of nonconforming Lookout Mountain towers, enforcement of hundreds of existing violations and adoption of an overlay district to protect residents and businesses from severe radio frequency interference. Removal would also support the scenic mountain backdrop which taxpayers have paid over $50 million to preserve.

After 9/11/01 and Enron/02, Americans yearn for government integrity and ethical business practice. Lookout Mountain antenna tower owners collect millions off their convenient Antenna Resort. JeffCo’s responsibility is to protect citizens, not multi-billion-dollar corporations. There are safe, rural, alternative antenna tower sites. This realistic no-towers-at-all solution is necessary to restore market value of the historic landmark. The antenna tower industry would become ethical. Political integrity would be restored at the Taj Mahal.