© 2004 Updated: 10/1/04


August, 2003

Denver Channels 4, 7, 9, & 20 may get their Supertower

Attendance exceeded 700 during the day-long hearing with breaks for lunch and dinner on July 1, 2003. About 300 citizens participated in a demonstration during the dinner break at 5 p.m.

Connected by thousands of feet of yellow plastic caution tape, citizens demonstrated the size of the proposed Lake Cedar Group tower. They stood 30 feet apart along a 730 foot long rectangle adjacent to Sixth Avenue at the JeffCo government campus in Golden.

Demonstrators then walked to the front entrance of the “Taj Mahal” carrying signs that read “I’m Here to SAY the Towers Must Go Away … Please Keep Me Safe! NO to the Supertower! JeffCo Commissioners, You’ve got the POWER to STOP the TOWER! Don’t RADIATE Your Constituents! CAUTION! Children Live Here TOO Many Unknowns to say Yes Please don’t Let JeffCo Cook Me!!! Don’t ENDANGER Our Children!!! Money for Broadcasters VS. Health & Happiness of Community

(Right: Citizens arranged themselves to demonstrate the size of the proposed tower)

Denver mass media provided no coverage except for tiny articles in the Post and News.

More than 30,000 citizens were represented by organizations including the City of Golden, in opposition to the rezoning for the Supertower. Individuals sent over 105 letters and e-mails opposing to the Supertower. Of 674 citizens who signed their name at July 1, 8, and 22 hearings on county sign-up sheets, 643 were “against” the rezoning. Of the 41 who signed “for” it, 29 are employed, or wannabe employed, or are related to employees of the broadcast or wireless industries, and 12 live on Squaw Mountain. While testimony was processed inside the hearing room, LCG lobbyist Scott Spendlove was signing up absent people to speak in the lobby. Citizens showed the list to the Clerk of the Board who voided Spendlove’s 30 names.

(Right: CARE presented a petition of 3,500 citizen signatures opposed to the Supertower.)

At the core of conflict, LCG spin constantly claimed “nothing will change on Lookout Mountain without approval of this rezoning” and “alternative sites are not acceptable.” Citizens and the Zoning Administrator claimed that digital cannot replace analog on existing nonconforming towers (on residential zoned lots). Citizens also know their local government can discontinue nonconforming land use that causes adverse impact on neighboring properties. Citizens know safe alternative sites are available but Denver broadcasters prefer the convenience industry-owned land within 15 minutes of their studios on land they own.

Two other differences are over health effects and real estate value. The proposed tower would double the Effective Radiated Power on Lookout to 20 Megawatts. LCG claims there are no health effects and citizens have studied international bio-effect research that say U.S. federal standards are flawed. Twelve medical physicians and health professionals testified for denial of the proposal. LCG supporters say citizens who don’t want the tower should move out. Citizens are also experiencing a reduction of property values due to perceived health effects of the antenna towers.

LCG claims it is reducing the impact of the only visual blight within Jefferson County’s $56 million preservation of the “Mountain Backdrop” which citizens want restored. The broadcast/wireless industry has 47 towers on 14 parcels (collectively 17 acres) on the east summit of Lookout. LCG proposes removal of three towers for one new Supertower. After amortized removal of the industrial use that is no longer at the edge of town, the land could be rezoned for a tax-generating restaurant/event center with fabulous views.

Most testimony was accompanied by power point presentations. On July 1, Squaw Mountain Communications offered free rent for LCG digital for one year at the approved 3-tower site at 10,800-feet altitude. On July 8, Bear Creek Development, owner of two approved towers on Mt. Morrison above Red Rocks Park, offered FREE rent for LCG stations for three years.

(Left: Deb Carney presents arguments against the proposal.)

To review a summary of testimony, click on the following links:

Board of Education & Health Department make no recommendation

On April 27, 1999, JeffCo School Board unanimously opposed the LCG Supertower. Commissioner Michelle Lawrence shared sympathy with Jon DeStefano for the Columbine High School tragedy (April 20) before he testified, “We had no control of that tragedy. You can prevent this potential tragedy… Until you know absolutely for certain that no harm will be caused to our children, you must protect them and deny this application.”

On June 12, 2003, DeStefano (who plans to run for Congress) said, “Nothing has changed since then… But this is a County Commissioner decision.” A letter was sent to Commissioners on June 27 stating: “… We thank you for considering the health and safety of the children of Jefferson County in your deliberations regarding the placement of a new transmission tower on Lookout Mountain… We urge you to make a wise and informed decision that does not expose our children to real or unnecessary risk; requiring proof be provided that placement of this tower at the proposed site will not in any way harm the children living in the area or attending Ralston and Shelton Elementary schools… ”

Director of JeffCo Department of Health and Environment, Dr. Mark Johnson, is recovering from surgery for removal of a brain tumor. His Golden office is exposed to the antennas in Beverly Heights where a significantly high rate of brain cancers are reported. Johnson presented a weak “Risk to Benefit Ratio” presentation that did not clarify any benefit. He said, “The EPA is satisfied with the FCC Standards.” Other scientists with many years of regulatory agency experience testified that the EPA, FDA, FCC, OSHA, etc. are not satisfied with the Standards.

(Right: protesters at Antenna Tower Hearing.)

Reasons for DENIAL of the Supertower by Commissioners Sheehan, Lawrence, and Holloway on August 2, 1999:
  • Does not substantially conform with the Central Mountains Community Plan… policy of visual resources, public services/facilities and the mountain site design criteria.
  • Does not substantially conform with the Telecommunications Land Use Plan… associated with tower siting.
  • Does not meet minimum standards for telecommunications facilities… requiring demonstration that no alternative existing site is available… sufficient setbacks… and does not demonstrate that the NIER emission levels are met.
  • The proposal is incompatible with residential uses in the surrounding area.
  • Rezoning is not in the best interest of the health, safety, morals, convenience, order, prosperity and welfare of the residents of Jefferson County.

Reasons for APPROVAL of the Supertower by Commissioners Sheehan, Lawrence, and Holloway on August 19, 2003:
  • Proposal is in substantial conformance with the Central Mountains Community Plan… meets recommendations of mountain site design criteria, open space, wildlife, air, odor, and noise; hazards; public services and facilities; water/sanitation; and commercial and office.
  • Proposal is in substantial conformance with policies of Telecommunications Land Use Plan regarding engineering and economic concerns, visual and noise impacts, residential interference, health issues, and tower siting.
  • Proposed land use is compatible with existing and allowed land uses in surrounding area in all directions…
  • The subject is served by the Foothills Fire Protection District.
  • Rezoning is in its best interest of the health, safety, morals, convenience, order, prosperity and welfare of the residents of Jefferson County.
  • The 30,000 citizens impacted by this unnecessary permission to increase pollution of their residential neighborhoods now refer to the Commissioners as Queen Lawrence, Prince Sheehan and Lady Holloway. The three that hold absolute power over 525,000 citizens of Colorado are more responsive to corporate public relations than the human beings they were elected to represent.

Read earlier articles on this subject.