Residents of the Parkland subdivision in Gibsons spoke out against the proposed Rogers cell tower at Tuesday’s council meeting.
A letter submitted to staff before the meeting accompanied a petition objecting to the proposed mobile phone tower at 700 Payne Road.
“We are very concerned that the residents of Parkland Living Green subdivision, the residential area in closest proximity to the approved tower site, were not informed,” stated the petition letter.
Thirty out of 32 residents (two abstentions) of Parkland are opposed to the cell tower and are petitioning the Town of Gibsons to reassess and refuse the development of the tower.
Negative health effects from electromagnetic radiation were individually specified among several complaints.
Gibsons resident Christa Joe addressed council in person on Tuesday night, saying that although she doesn’t share the health concerns, she is adamantly opposed to the cell tower for financial reasons.
“The fear for me is just that I’m investing a lot of money in the subdivision. Prior to even completing construction, my property values are going to go down as soon as it’s erected,” Joe said. “I’m not OK with that.”
Gibsons Mayor Wayne Rowe responded by explaining that the Town doesn’t have the same veto power over the cell tower that they did when it was proposed at the North Road fire hall in 2013, since that land was publicly owned.
“Rogers did comply with the minimum requirements set out by Industry Canada, and that’s what we responded to. We’ve already acknowledged that with them,” said Rowe. “I think we might consider a follow-up letter to pass along this recent petition to them so that’s at least taken into consideration. The deliberations are ultimately made by Industry Canada.”
Joe responded to Rowe’s comments: “Right now, because phase two, phase three, phase four are owned by the developer, it’s one person who got to approve it. But eventually, if you look at the map, that’s going to belong to hundreds of people. The vibe in the neighbourhood now is: if the cell tower is approved, for sale signs are going up on almost everybody’s lot.”