Davidson County Broadcasting in Lexington, NC is seeking a permit to allow a new 1,200-ft radio tower for the Christian-formatted station to be built in Mount Ulla, NC. After first trying over five years ago, Davidson will again appear before the Rowan County Board of Commissioners seeking a permit. The board will schedule a quasi-judicial public hearing regarding the request at last week’s meeting. County planning staff has recommended holding the hearing 7/19, with continuation until 7/20 as necessary. The station’s current tower is 1,014 ft.
Gig Hilton, president of Davidson County Broadcasting, applied for a conditional use permit 5/10 for the construction of the new tower. This, after 11/05, when commissioners voted to deny a previous permit from Davidson for a 1,350-foot broadcast tower.
Hilton had appealed the decision, but a three-judge panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals upheld the denial in 9/07, and so did the N.C. Supreme Court.
“The main difference between this one and the one reviewed in 2005 is that the tower is 150 feet shorter,” County Planning Director Ed Muire told the Salisbury Post.
Davidson County Broadcasting says the new tower would increase the coverage area of WWLV, serve more people and reduce interference.
County Manager Gary Page said he doesn’t know why the applicants chose to try again. “Maybe the climate is different because of the economy… but the biggest change has been the makeup of the board,” he told the paper.
Commissioners originally decided that the tower would present a safety hazard to a nearby private airstrip, Miller Airpark.
In the new app, Davidson County Broadcasting says it plans to submit evidence to the contrary and show that the tower would not create hazardous traffic or air safety conditions. The FAA has determined that the proposed tower, like the previous one, poses “no hazard” and will not adversely affect air safety, the application states.
Davidson says it will show that the FAA considered Miller Airpark in its study and would have issued a “no hazard” determination even if it were a public use airport.