Telus granted approval for new cell tower in View Royal

A proposed cellular tower in View Royal will receive the support of town council, despite some residents’ concerns.

A proposed cellular tower in View Royal will receive the support of town council, despite some residents’ concerns.

The proposed site, off Munn Road, is 200 metres from the nearest residential property. The owners of 400 acres surrounding Pike Lake, north of Thetis Lake, expressed concerns to Telus about the tower. It will be visible from the lake and, as stated in a letter from residents  to Telus, will “destroy this natural environment.”

“To put a communications tower that you can see from the middle of the lake is totally unnecessary,” resident Mike Todd told council.

To mitigate concerns, Telus agreed to decrease the height of the tower by 3.75 metres and to opt against having a lighted beacon at its top.

The land owners preferred the tower be built at another location, 20 metres away from the proposed site. A Telus representative told council that wasn’t practical.

Telus has said the tower is necessary to meet growing demand and fill in gaps in coverage.

The tower site is owned by BC Hydro but falls within an area marked as a sensitive terrestrial ecosystem. An environmental study had to be carried out.

Eventually, the project was approved as long as Telus agreed to replace any Garry oak trees removed within 100 metres of the site and build three nesting boxes for birds to make up for the loss of trees.

Based on Telus’ willingness to lower the tower and the results of the environmental assessment, council ultimately decided to recommend that Industry Canada approve the project – though council made a point of recognizing the concerns of residents.

Only councillor David Screech voted against the motion, questioning the need for the tower.

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