The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved a plan for a new television and radio tower to replace an old radio tower in southern Fairfax.

The request for a special exception to allow construction of the tower was sought by National Capitol Christian Broadcasters Inc. of Manassas. The firm said the tower was needed so it could beam its evangelical Christian TV station, WTKK (Channel 66), to more Fairfax residents. Only residents of southwestern Fairfax now receive Channel 66.

The new tower also would be used by Fairfax FM station WEZR, which uses the present tower and owns the site.

More than 150 supporters of the new tower, including Del. Larry Pratt (R-Fairfax), showed up for a hearing before the supervisors Monday, outnumbering the small group of opponents whose homes are near the tower -- just west of Ox Road and south of Fairfax Station.

"Frankly, at first blush, I want to turn this application down," said Supervisor Marie B. Travesky (R-Springfield), who represents residents in the area. She said she reluctantly supported the replacement tower because the present one "is structurally unsound."

The new tower will be a scaled-down version of the one originally proposed. It will be 380 feet tall, the same height as the present tower, with a 79-foot-tall antenna, slightly higher than the current 62-foot antenna.