Radio Tower Group petitions to rezone property | Local News

Blessed Beginnings Broadcasting Inc. (BBB) ​​is seeking to expand its footprint in Indiana by purchasing 75 acres, which are currently zoned as agricultural, and rezoning the area for commercial use. The land in question is at 6630 S. 200 E., Lebanon.

BBB, headquartered in Warsaw, is seeking to replace the old Whitestown radio towers that housed WFNI 1070 AM, which has broadcast in the Indianapolis area for more than 55 years. If the proposed towers are approved and built, they would join only 32 remaining 50KW (Kilowatt) radio stations in the United States.

The company also has offices and studios in Fort Wayne.

In late February, the City of Zionsville Zoning Appeal Board (BZA) received a request from Rick Lawrence, an attorney for Nelson and Frankenburger, LLC, requesting a special exemption and new waiver on behalf of BBB to rezone the ground. The proposed real estate investment would be the new home of six 200-foot-tall AM radio towers.

The property that BBB is seeking to acquire is adjacent to land owned by the brother-in-law of BBB president Brian Walsh. His mother currently lives on this property.

Walsh said the Crow Family Farm currently has a ground lease with BBB to use the land. He said the Crows would still use the farmland around the proposed area.

Documents included in the request indicating that the proposed height would not require the addition of warning lights. The six towers would be connected to a control building which would house transmitters, a phaser, a generator and other support equipment.

If everything is approved, Walsh said the towers would be completed in 2023, pending various agencies and documents. He added that the station’s music will be by alumni, which is also what their Wabash station plays.

If all goes according to plan, Walsh said the station would simulcast its morning show, but everything else on the station would be from Indianapolis. Walsh said his current stations provide broad local coverage in the Warsaw and Fort Wayne areas.

“It’s pretty unique and it’s a big responsibility to be so local,” Walsh said.

Walsh said he plans to add local media coverage, as well as local sports.

“That’s how we get in,” he said. “We are serious. We don’t just walk in and put on a few songs, turn off the lights and walk out the door.

He said he wanted to be transparent with current residents around the requested property and adds that he has an open door policy.

Since the public caught wind of the proposed project, a Facebook group called “No 1070 Towers!” has been created. The group says they are neighbors who oppose the resurrection of the station’s transmission site.

The BZA issued a statement of fact with the petition stating that “the proposed use will not be injurious to public health, safety, comfort, moral standards of the community, convenience, or general welfare. “.

Tony Carrell, who lives in the area and will be out of town during the public hearing, provided a written comment in response to the petition.

“I understand, appreciate and fully respect the rights of landlords and defend a landlord’s decision to profit from the sale or lease of their land,” Carrell wrote. “In this case, if the proposed petition is granted, it will forever change the landscape and the potential use of the surrounding land in the future.”

Carrell said he and his family had lived in the area since the 1980s and knew that at some point they would become part of Indianapolis’ sprawl.

Another written statement was submitted to the city by Alex Roman of AR Broadcasting Technology who stated that he was familiar with the operation of the 1070 AM frequency in Indiana and had experience with this type of station.

Roman’s letter describes his experience with radio towers and indicates that the proposed towers would operate at a “very low frequency” compared to others.

“In my experience, interference from AM transmitters with other services is a very rare problem, mainly because there are very few other devices that operate in a frequency range similar to AM transmission,” said writes Roman. “Everything from garage door openers to televisions operates at a spectral distance from the AM band.”

Roman says that since he maintained WABC, from 2007 to 2011, and since WLIB from 2014 to present, he has received no complaints of interference with consumer devices. He said the station he used to maintain was adjacent to a densely populated residential area.

According to the {span}American Cancer Society{/span} (ACS), the organization “has no official position or statement on whether radio frequency radiation from cell phones, cell towers, or other sources is a cause of cancer.”

Their statement on the matter also states that other health organizations have found that there is insufficient evidence to support a casual association between exposure to radiofrequency radiation and tumor formation.

There is a public hearing, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 6 at Zionsville City Hall, 1100 W. Oak St., to discuss the petition. Written comments favorable or unfavorable to the request must be filed with the secretary of the BZA before the hearing in order to be heard at the meeting.

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