10.01.2003 12:00 PM
Battle over Colorado tower heats up again

The battle over the placement of a 730-foot broadcast tower on Lookout Mountain in the Denver, Colo., area, which appeared settled in mid-August after gaining approval from the Jefferson County commissioners, has erupted once again with the city of Golden joining a lawsuit to block the decision.

Golden city residents are joining a large group of area residents who want to block the erection of a 730-foot tower on Lookout Mountain.

Filed two weeks ago, the lawsuit finds fault with the commissioners’ decision to rezone the area to allow the project to proceed. Some Golden city officials object to the way the commission reached its decision, claiming that it did not provide adequate opportunity for some citizens to participate in the process.

On Aug. 19, the Jefferson County commissioners approved the Lookout Mountain Tower project to consolidate transmission towers scattered in the area on a single larger tower that would be home to antennas for four analog and four digital television stations. A consortium of local television stations, the Lake Cedar Group, contended that the tower is needed to bring over-the-air high-definition television transmission to Denver viewers. Work was scheduled to begin on the new tower in January and is to take about a year to finish.

If work on the tower proceeds, it will be less than a mile away from homes and businesses on the outskirts of Golden.

According to the attorney for Golden, the commissioners didn’t follow some established procedures in reaching its decision, including allowing proponents of the project to provide material after the 21-day required cut-off period, and failed to give due consideration to other sites.

About three weeks ago, the Golden City Council meeting was deluged with citizens requesting help from the city in fighting the commission’s decision. The council voted unanimously to join a lawsuit filed by a group representing 30 homeowners associations fighting the tower’s construction. A hearing in that suit is scheduled for mid-November.

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