Tower in disguise
West Vancouver may become the first Lower Mainland community to sprout a monopine.
The faux trees, which house communication towers, are used extensively south of the border, but so far haven’t grown roots in Vancouver, said Cascadia Tower president Morrie Finn.
His company hopes to change that.
The neutral host tower provider has submitted an application to erect a monopine on the median between Highway 1 and the westbound 15th Street exit. The project is currently undergoing public consultation, Finn said.
“I think it is only responsible that we make [the tower] a monopine or something that is going to fit in this environment,” the West Van resident said.
Just down the highway, Rogers and Telus’s proposed 29.5-metre tower slated for land off Taylor Way, has hit opposition.
Geri Boyle, the district’s manager of community planning, said the municipality needs more information about the project and warned the tower will change the scenic quality of West Vancouver.
Rogers has plans to meet with the district, said Sara Holland, Rogers western region communications manager.
Both proposed towers would be built on Ministry of Transportation land — plots outside the municipality’s jurisdiction.
The North Shore’s highway corridor is a sought-after location, as it provides a buffer from residential areas, Finn said.
“There are some coverage issues for a number of carriers in this area of West Vancouver, and also North Vancouver, and it just so happens that the Ministry of Transportation is the most appropriate land available for these type of facilities,” he said.
The advent of smartphones has caused a sharp increase in wireless use, which requires these facilities to be closer together, Finn said, noting it’s therefore inevitable more towers will be placed adjacent to residential areas.
“The wireless industry, as you can imagine right now, is very competitive,” he said.