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Golden, Colo. Threatens Use of Eminent Domain to Acquire DTV Tower Site

Denver broadcasters in the Lake Cedar Group face additional challenges to their plans to build a 730 foot tower, a 35-foot accessory tower and an equipment building to provide DTV facilities for analog channels 4, 7 9 and 20. The city of Golden, Colorado, which is near the site where Lake Cedar Group proposes to build their tower, has joined a coalition of homeowners and residents in fighting the plan and is seeking to purchase the land the Group wants for their tower site, as well as adjacent parcels, for a park. The plan is outlined in the Rocky Mountain News article Golden trying to buy up land by Charley Able. The article reports that if the current property owners aren't interested in selling, the city may consider eminent domain proceedings, which would allow them to take the property. All of the parcels, however, are outside the Golden city limits.

The Lake Cedar Group broadcasters have twice received permission to construct the tower from Jefferson County, only to see construction stopped through rulings by District Court judges. The most recent case concerns the possibility the towers could collapse and cause damage to adjacent houses and School of Mines student housing by rolling downhill. Charley Able, in the Rocky Mountain News article Decision on TV tower delayed reported that structural engineer Mark Malouf said that tower failures in this sort of project are "extremely unlikely" and the spacing of the tower exceeds the "probable fall-zone." See Charley Able's article for more information about the debate.

To date, opponents of the Lake Cedar Project have prevented channels 4, 7 9 and 20 from building DTV facilities at a site that would allow them to better match their analog coverage. In the articles, The Rocky Mountain News articles indicated the debate won't be resolved until at least late September. Given the persistence of the opposition, I suspect it will take much longer.