A Qualicum Beach resident has started a petition protesting Telus’s plan to erect a 40-metre tall monopole tower at 825 Village Way, in the parking lot of the Christian Fellowship Centre.
Michelle Whitney indicated on her change.org petition page that they are concerned about the impact of the tower on their children and the proximity to Arrowview Elementary School, less than 1,000 metres away.
She is also concerned about the impact the tower might have on resident eagles and migratory birds as the tower will be located close to the beach.
Whitney wants to get at least 500 people to sign the petition and to date, approximately 370 people have signed. It will be presented to the Town of Qualicum Beach.
Telus is building the tower to enhance wireless services in Qualicum Beach, in direct response to increasing local demand for better coverage and capacity.
A spokesperson for Telus, Liz Sauve, said the location of the proposed tower was chosen to enhance the capacity of Telus wireless network in the immediate area, which is where they need it.
“Not only is demand increasing given the popularity of cellphones and the regular activities people use them for, both from a business and personal perspective, but also because more than 70 per cent of calls to 911 come from a cellphone these days,” Sauve explained. “Maintaining our wireless networks is critical to ensure that our customers have a connection when they need it, particularly in the event of an emergency.”
Telus will host an open house on Feb. 20 at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre between 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. to get more feedback from the community and to answer questions.
The Town of Qualicum Beach’s CAO, Daniel Sailland, indicated they have been receiving a variety of calls from residents regarding the proposed tower. He said staff is now working on a date when people can come forward as a delegation to council. It’s likely to happen in early March.
For those wishing to view the petition, you can go to change.org.
Another local, Tim Benesh, has started his own petition in favour of the tower.
“NIMBYism needs to stop. Also, it’s about time the silent majority has a voice instead of the vocal minority,” says the second petition, which can be viewed here.