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Rogers finds new cellphone tower options
After public outcry over a proposal to place a cellphone tower near the top of Taylor Way, Rogers Communications has added more site options. But they haven’t quelled concerns.
“If [the tower is] placed anywhere in the British Properties they won’t win approval,” said Max Nikpay, president of the British Properties Area Homeowners’ Association.
The company originally wanted to build a 29.5-metre tower on provincial land on the grassy median between Highway 1 and its westbound off-ramp. The proposal created a stir in the community. People said the site wasn’t appropriate because the location is the gateway to West Van.
With the help of the District of West Vancouver, Rogers has added five more locations to its list, four of which are in the British Properties.
The first alternative option is at the top of Taylor Way across from the roundabout, while the second is on the median at the four-way traffic lights on Taylor Way just after the Highway 1 overpass.
Rogers has one option on property owned by St. David’s United Church. While there have only been preliminary discussions with members of the congregation, Rogers stated in a release, the tower could be placed along the south edge of the property to the west of the church. In illustrations, Rogers depicts the tower disguised by a structure with a cross on it.
Site five places the tower on a triangular park bounded by Eastcot and Burhill roads, while site three puts a 40-metre tower on provincial land immediately south of the on-ramp to Highway 1 eastbound.
Nikpay says Rogers should explore the wooded area just east of the Highway 1 bridge that crosses Capilano River. The tower would have to be taller because of the trees, but it wouldn’t affect as many homeowners as Rogers’ proposed sites, he says.
“The taller the tower is, the more it costs,” he adds, noting that’s one reason he thinks Rogers hasn’t explored that area.
Many of the alternatives are similar to the communication company’s original plan, Coun. Bill Soprovich says, adding the tower needs to be erected away from homes.
“A lot of people still have a lot of questions about health,” he says of the tower.
From a technical and engineering perspective there are pros and cons to all of the site options, Rogers spokesperson Marina Guy says.
The company is hosting a public meeting at Hollyburn Country Club on Tuesday, June 21, to talk through the options. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m.
“We are gathering feedback until June 30,” she says.
The input will be assessed and shared with the district. The municipality will then decide if it supports moving forward with the structure, Guy says.
“From there we will be able to determine a clear direction,” she notes.
Not all the pinpointed sites are on municipal land, says Geri Boyle, West Van’s manager of community planning. If district land was selected for the tower, there would be a cost attached for the company, she notes.
“We are really going to wait and see what the public says,” Boyle adds.
Ultimately if Rogers decides to build on a road median, the tower would fall in Ministry of Transportation land, which is outside of the district’s jurisdiction. As with all the locations, the final say lays with Industry Canada, Boyle says.