Law clears obstacles for Lookout Mountain DTV tower

President George Bush signed a bill into law Dec. 22, 2006, allowing a consortium of Denver broadcasters that have long wanted to build a new DTV tower on a nearby mountain to do so despite the objections of some area residents and the city of Golden, CO.

The measure ends an eight-year process that’s pitted opponents, who claimed the new tower might emit potentially harmful levels of RF and impinge on the scenic beauty of the area, against the Lake Cedar Group, a consortium that includes KMGH-TV, KUSA-TV, KCNC-TV and KTVD-TV.

The bill, which was co-sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Wayne Allard (R) and Ken Salazar (D), brought a swift end to the continuing saga that saw county government approvals of the new tower, court intervention, warnings from outside consultants regarding RF-related health concerns and the insertion of the City of Golden into the fracas. Broadcasters face a February 2009 government mandate to cease analog television transmission.

Rocky Mountain reported Dec. 22 that two Jefferson County commissioners had asked the president to veto the bill to no avail.

The bill allows the Lake Cedar Group to erect a 730ft-high tower for digital television transmission, which will replace an existing 834ft tower on the mountain.

With the signing of the legislation, broadcasters in Denver can avoid future stop-gap measures. Last February, KMGH-TV erected a temporary tower atop a downtown Denver building to transmit ABC’s HD presentation of the 2006 Super Bowl.

Public officials in Golden criticized the state’s U.S. Senators for introducing the bill in the waning days of the 109th Congress.