You would think the public would welcome the elimination of three towers on a ridgeline as stations consolidate onto a single tower, but in the Denver, Colo., area that is not the case.
The Lookout Mountain location, which sits on the Rocky Mountain Front Range just west of Denver.
The Lookout Mountain location, which sits on the Rocky Mountain Front Range just west of Denver, is home to several television transmitters. In 1997 a group of area stations formed the Lake Cedar Group (LCG), a limited liability corporation created as a litigation buffer, with the intent of consolidating into a single facility. Current members include KCNC, KRMA, KMGH, KUSA and KTVD. KWGN was a member but has dropped out of the group.
The new tower is proposed to be located 180 feet down from the ridgeline to diminish the aesthetic impact. The tower will be 110 feet shorter than the tallest current tower, KCNC’s 840-foot tall tower. The overall HASL for the new tower would be 290 feet lower than the top of the current KCNC stick. Through antenna multiplexing, the total number of antennas on the tower for both analog and digital transmissions is planned to be only six. The lower-mounted antennas would also be directional towards Denver. Antennas higher up on the tower would be omnidirectional, but with reduced power to minimize RF exposure to surrounding residents. The new tower would be 450 to 500 feet further away from residents than the closest tower is today.
Area residents met the original proposed tower, a candelabra, with stiff opposition. So with a monopole tower, fewer antennas mean a shorter tower.
Unfortunately, members of the surrounding mountain community have lobbied the county to deny the rezoning necessary to build the new tower. Leading this opposition is a group called Canyon Area Residents for the Environment (CARE). Besides fighting the construction of a new tower they also claim that all current towers in the area are “non-conforming” because the mountain top area is a zoned residential area. CARE also is questioning the health effects from current and future transmissions.
Most DTV CPs originally issued to the Denver stations have been revoked. If approval from Jefferson County zoning authority is not received, the stations are considering building DTV towers on less desirable sites such as Squaw Mountain or Eldorado Peak, leaving the four existing towers standing until the FCC forces an analog shutdown.
Some have suggested that the new DTV towers be erected out on the rolling parries east of the city. To serve the entire Denver area tall towers would have to be used. The problem with towers to the east is with the FAA, who does not want additional hazards to Denver’s sprawling airport northeast of the city. CARE continues to lobby Jefferson County, along with its Congress representatives, to stop any new tower construction. CARE claims the FCC’s interest in pushing DTV forward is a conspiracy against the local area.