by Neil Ruud
The current KDVS radio tower on Kerr Hall causes telecommunication interference and is not tall enough to legally protect KDVS’ signal beyond the immediate area. In 1996, KDVS’s staff started researching potential sites to build a taller tower and legally protect its listeners in Yolo County and beyond.
Results Radio, a company with a technical need to locate a tower near Davis, approached KDVS in 2009 with an opportunity to co-locate on their proposed tower. After an environmental impact report found that the tower would have little impact, a one-year Use permit was issued for the construction of the tower.
A year later, Results Radio filed for a construction extension before the previous permit expired. The extension was necessary because of the time intensive FCC construction permit approval process. The extension was approved. Subsequently, the extension was appealed by a Davis resident who claimed that changes were made to the original project. County staff wrote a report categorically rejecting the all of appellant’s claims and the Yolo County Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny the appeal. The appeal is now headed to the Board of Supervisors who must determine if there has been a significant change in the project.
Opponents of the tower also claim that it will impact migratory birds in the Pacific flyway and significantly detract from local aesthetics. They claim that KDVS should search for another location for a tower to avoid these impacts.
The Pacific flyway is 300 miles wide; almost every tower in California is in the Pacific flyway. Additionally, this tower is not inconsistent with the use of the space; there is a taller tower closer to Davis. The proposed tower will have state-of-the-art technology recommended by US Fish and Wildlife guidelines to protect migratory birds. The only changes made to the project were to mitigate environmental concerns and were made prior to the initial, unanimous approval of the tower. These issues were addressed in the original certified environmental document which the public had an opportunity to comment on.
If this tower is not built, there will be an immediate negative impact on KDVS’s coverage. Even more importantly, KDVS’s prospects of relocation will be even more limited than they already are. The Davis City Council’s offers of assistance finding alternate sites were appreciated, but KDVS has already exhausted other options in the extremely technical field of tower location which is constrained by the FCC, the FAA, and local government.
On Tuesday, December 13th at 9am, The Yolo County Board of Supervisors will hear the appeal against extending KDVS’s permit to build a new tower at the Yolo County Central Landfill. KDVS is aggressively seeking the denial of this appeal for the benefit of the citizens, non-profits, and businesses of Yolo County. These groups benefit from local news coverage, free public service announcements and low-cost underwriting messages.
For more information on the KDVS tower project or to learn how you can help protect KDVS, please visit kdvs.org/tower
Neil Ruud is the general manager at KDVS