10.04.2005 12:00 AM
County Commissioners Reject Denver DTV Tower Request
Free off-air DTV suffered another setback in Denver when a majority of Jefferson County Commissioners voted down the proposal by Lake Cedar Group to construct a new 730-foot tower on Lookout Mountain to support DTV antennas for KCNC, KMGH, KUSA and KTVD. Although the tower was previously approved by a different group of Commissioners, Canyon Area Residents for the Environment (CARE), the City of Golden and numerous homeowners' associations and individuals appealed the decision and the court remanded it back to the Commission for review.

Minutes of the meeting should be posted within the next two weeks on the Jefferson County Commissioner's Web site. The decision was also covered in the Denver Post article Jeffco rejects digital-TV tower by Ann Schrader and on the 9 News Web site in the article Jefferson County rejects television tower produced by Melissa Marshbanks.

Charley Able at Rocky Mountain News has been following the battle between the broadcasters and the homeowners since it started. He has a very extensive article, Commissioners reject plan for TV tower, but whether decision ends project or sends it back to a judge is unanswered. As the title implies, it is not clear whether the Commissioners' decision kills the project. Charley Able's article quotes Jefferson County's director of planning and development saying that the new Commissions' action does not change the decision by the former Commissioners and the dispute will go back to the district court judge who remanded it back to the Commissioners.

One of the arguments made by homeowners near the tower was that the tower could fall and pieces of it could fly off and hit nearby houses. CARE has also raised issues about RF radiation from the antennas on the tower. See the Tower Hazards and Radiation Exposure Above Tolerance (T.H.R.E.A.T.) page on the CARE Web site. Charley Able's article notes that the Lake Cedar Group said RF levels would decrease after stations consolidated on the new tower (as the antennas would be higher and the main beams would be above the houses) and that a structural engineer testified that damage from a tower collapse would be limited to property owned by the Lake Cedar Group.

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