The Sacramento County Planning Commission on Monday approved a 500-foot tower for Capital Public Radio, despite opposition from area property owners who said it will lower values and hurt farming in the area.
The commission voted 4-0 for the project, which is to be built on county land near Jackson and Grant Line roads.
One commissioner was absent.
Rick Eytcheson, president and general manager of Capital Public Radio, told the commission that the facility is needed to reach parts of the region with weak signals.
He said it has taken five years to find the location in eastern Sacramento County.
"It's very difficult to find a suitable location" because of potential infringement on other radio signals and airplane traffic, he said.
An environmental impact study by the county led Capital Public Radio to abandon another nearby site because it would have interfered with farming on the Davis Ranch.
The ranch's owners said the tower would have prevented aerial crop dusting of sweet corn and other produce.
Another property owner raised a similar complaint about the new location, saying it will make plans to farm his property difficult.
Owners of the Carney Ranch said they don't use aerial dusting for their farm but they could in the future, if they go forward with expansion plans.
Janice James, a Sloughhouse resident, told the Planning Commission that the project area often gets picked for unwanted development. The nearby area already includes the Kiefer Landfill, the county's primary solid-waste dump, and three other communications towers.
Michael Carney said if he tried to sell land to developers, the radio tower would lower property values. He said he thinks the deal with Capital Public Radio is stacked against him.
"I realize the county has a little bit of interest in this. They get the rent," he said.
The project's possible impacts on farming also prompted the Cosumnes Community Planning Advisory Council to recommend denial of the tower.
Eytcheson said the lease with the county calls for Capital Public Radio to pay $2,500 a month for the 1.2-acre site. The Board of Supervisors will be asked later to approve the lease.
Capital Public Radio operates KXJZ-FM, which provides news and talk programming, and KXPR, which has music and other arts programming.
"It's very difficult to find a suitable location" because of potential infringement on other radio signals and airplane traffic, said Rick Eytcheson, president and general manager of Capital Public Radio.