A Telus proposal to extend an existing cell tower in Golden is now in the hands of Industry Canada to approve.
The proposed extension (from 14.9 metres to 17.9 metres) is permitted for the C3 zone in the Town’s zoning bylaw, and the company complied with all of Industry Canada’s public consultation requirements.
Town Council acknowledged this at the last meeting, now leaving it up to Industry Canada to put its stamp of approval on it, which Manager of Development Services Phil Armstrong says is almost a certainty.
“It’s pretty much a done deal now,” he said.
Council did request that slats be installed in the existing chainlink fencing and gate for the tower, located at 1101 11th Ave. S.
The extension was deemed necessary by Telus to improve service for their cell phone users in the area. According to Telus communications representative Liz Sauve, the company has received a lot of requests for a stronger LTE network in the area.
“We want to make sure that we are providing the best service possible, especially for safety concerns,” she said. “Sixty per cent of all 911 calls are made from cell phones, and we want to make sure that service is always available.”
In May, local resident Inge Clapperton appeared before council requesting that the Town not support the proposal, and that it develop its own Communication Antenna Policy. Without one, companies like Telus refer to the default policy set out by Industry Canada.
“If we have our own policy we can develop a consultation process that we’re more comfortable with,” said Armstrong. “That would probably include a bigger notification zone.”
With Industry Canada’s policy companies have to notify residents and businesses within three times the tower’s height. With the current proposal, that meant that less than a block received notification.
Council is scheduled to discuss the possibility of developing its own policy at the next council meeting. Most larger municipalities do have a policy, but Armstrong says it is less common among smaller ones.