Court Approves Lookout Mountain TV Tower
April 27, 2007
After a battle lasting almost a decade, Jefferson County Judge Brooke Jackson approved the board of county commissioners' approval of the Lookout Mountain TV tower under construction by TV broadcasters' Lake Cedar Group. Jackson did not, however, support Lake Cedar's argument that the federal law (discussed in RF Report last year) permitting anyone with a federal permit to erect a DTV tower or antenna on Lookout Mountain did not pre-empt the county's land-use laws.
According to Lake Cedar's Web site, hdtvcolorado.com, "The ruling removes the distraction of the long running litigation on this issue and clears the way for the Lake Cedar stations and Jefferson County to work cooperatively on the construction of the consolidated digital television facility." It offered this update on the progress of the tower: "Construction of the consolidated tower on Lookout Mountain is proceeding with expected completion in mid 2008. As Front Range Colorado moves closer to free over-the-air digital television, the Jefferson County District Court has reaffirmed the Jefferson County board of commissioner's approval of the consolidated tower. The April 16th court ruling denies any and all remaining challenges to the board's approval of the consolidated tower."
The Web site for Canyon Area Residents for the Environment, representing homeowner groups opposing the tower, said that while Judge Jackson dismissed CARE and Golden's lawsuit against Lake Cedar Group, "the issue is still unresolved." It makes these points:
• "Lake Cedar Group wants no Jeffco zoning control and no limits on the number of antennas. Judge Jackson did not dismiss the lawsuit because of the Act of Congress as LCG wanted, so unless LCG appeals the decision, LCG will have to abide by the Official Development Plan and Written Restrictions that the original county commissioners approved. (SuperTower would be limited to eight TV stations)
• Judge Jackson did not address any of the constitutional arguments.
• There is no indication that any of our Colorado Delegation has made any effort to modify the law that was passed in the middle of the night. This means over 20 additional high power HDTV antennas (current/pending FCC permits) could be put up on Lookout Mountain under S4092."
A copy of the Final Order and Judgment is available on the CARE Web site. Also see TV tower gets OK after years of static by Ann Schrader in the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain news story Judge's decision allows 730-foot digital TV site.