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Davis, California

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Yolo County suspends decision on KDVS tower

The decision to construct a 365-foot radio tower on a Yolo County landfill has been put on hold after a 3-2 vote by the county’s Board of Supervisors last Tuesday.

Discussion of the project started in May when the Santa Rosa-based Results Radio and student-run UC Davis’ KDVS won a unanimous vote by the Yolo County Planning Commission to build the tower.

However, following the Planning Commission’s approval, Conaway Preservation Group filed an appeal claiming that the tower was a threat to millions of bird species in the area.

Both sides met on Tuesday in a public hearing to discuss whether or not to uphold the appeal.

During the hearing, Tovey Glezantanner, a spokesperson for the Conaway Preservation Group, said that the tower would increase the potential for “bird strikes”, as well affect the migratory path of birds along the Pacific Flyway, a route throughout California’s Central Valley.

The local Sierra Club, Tuleyome and California Waterfowl are alongside Conaway in opposition of the tower.

Paul Neiberg, president of the Sierra Club, said in a letter to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors that their “major concern is the real potential for significant bird kills as a result of the tower at this location.”

Results Radio attorney David Temblador opposed the claims, proposing that the impact would be far less than the allegations by Conaway and requested that the board deny the appeal.

An appeal would give Conaway an extra 30 days to study the projects effect on migratory bird species.

“The board felt that more time was necessary,” said Neil Ruud, general manager of KDVS. “I think that ultimately all interests are best vested in this tower.”

Many said that the six-week extension would not produce any additional information.

Chair Helen Thomson was in opposition of the appeal and voted against it. Supervisor Matt Rexroad joined her, ending in a 3-2 vote.

“We’ve been trying to relocate our tower to a new location for about a decade now,” Ruud said.

The tower would increase KDVS listenership from 200,000 to 500,000 on their current 90.3 frequency.

The board will meet again on Sept. 14 to review the case.

KAREN SONG can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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