On Thursday, the FCC granted the LPFM construction permit application for The Los Angeles Social Justice Radio Project which proposed operations on 107.9 in the western portion of the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.
LASJRP's application was a part of MX Group #40 which also included granted applications on 99.1 for Strategic International Ministries (operating as "99.1 The Ranch") in Simi Valley and Reach To The Top, still under construction in Venice.
During the 2013 window, LASJRP, with the assistance of REC, filed for a site on the campus of Los Angeles Pierce College, a Los Angeles Community College with an agricultural program and proposed operations on 99.1.
As a 4-point applicant, they were not a tentative selectee. In order to address this, LASJRP moved to a site in Chatsworth on 107.9. The move to 107.9 prompted petitions to deny to be filed by KLVE, the Los Angeles area second-adjacent channel station and an informal objection by Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, licensee of co-channel station KWVE-FM, located over 70 miles away. Both objectors claimed that LASJRP has requested a site that is on a nature preserve and therefore does not have site assurance and if they did, the site would require an environmental impact.
REC had determined that LASJRP had provided incorrect coordinates for the intended site which was a plot of private property just north of the land owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power where the incorrect coordinates were given. As a result, in November, 2014, LASJRP's application was amended to the correct site, which was located about 700 feet from the erronious (DWP) site.
In January, 2015, the FCC dismisses LASJRP's application based on site assurance by stating that "at the time of filing the original application", LASJRP did not have assurance to use the site. In February 2015, LASJRP's attorney, with the assistance of REC filed a Petition for Reconsideration stating that there was assurance to use the private property that was noted in the amended site. One week later, the FCC denies the Petition for Reconsideration stating that even though the correction had been made and site assurance was obtained in September, 2014, it does not account for assurance to use the original site back in November, 2013, which the Audio Division considered as the DWP site.
In March 2015, LASJRP's attorneys, again with the assistance of REC, filed an Application for Review. In the AFR, LASJRP stated that the Audio Division errored in assuming that the DWP site was the original site and did not take into consideration that in November, 2013, during the filing window, LASJRP originally filed for the site on Pierce College for which they had site assurance for.
During the AFR process, among other issues, Calvary Chapel claimed that even though the site is adjacent to the DWP site, which they claim is a nature preserve, is still adjacent to a historic site which the FCC determined is nearly two miles away from the proposed tower site.
In their decision, the full Commission agrees with LASJRP that the Media Bureau "based its ruling on an incorrect material fact" in reference to the belief that the DWP site was the original site and not Pierce College (which LASJRP had site assurance for) and that the timely filed correction on the site coordinates off of the DWP land to the intended private land was appropriate. The FCC also rejected Calvary's claims that the nature preservation claims that they made for the DWP site also applied to the private site. We also note that the FCC rejected Calvary's dependence on Wikipedia as a resource for citation.
The FCC's decision on the AFR can be found here:
In Los Angeles, we are awaiting a decision on the Informal Objection filed by Educational Media Foundation against Razorcake/Gorsky Press, who has filed to use 92.7 in Pasadena.
Congratulations to Los Angeles Social Justice Radio Project on bringing an LPFM station to the west valley!