County of Brant council members expressed their support for a proposed 65 foot telecommunications tower at 447 Baptist Church Road during the council meeting on Tuesday, June 28.
Tracey Pillon-Abbs spoke to council on behalf of LandSquared, the company proposing the tower.
“I would like to ask council to consider supporting this location for the tower and issue a letter of concurrence,” she said. “We have considered alternative locations, however the proposed location is most suitable to achieve the best coverage.”
Pillon-Abbs explained they have taken steps to beautify the area and that due to the floodplains on the property, the tower cannot be moved. The company received support from the Grand River Conservation Authority for the proposed location.
The County of Brant guidelines state that the tower needs to be three times the height of the tower away from any dwelling, and it does not conform with that guideline.
During the Planning and Development committee meeting, it was recommended that, since the County cannot approve or deny the tower, they would send a message stating that the tower does not follow the guidelines in place.
“I can’t support the recommendation as it is presented,” Councillor David Miller said. “We have talked about infrastructure, especially for rural areas. We need cell phone service and that is sorely lacking in many areas and as data loads increase, the need becomes higher. I am 100 per cent in favour of this tower going up.”
Councillor Brian Coleman also showed support for the tower, stating that he spoke to a number of residents in the area that said the tower would really help them.
In earlier planning phases Colleen Kelly, County of Brant resident and the immediate neighbour to the property, told council that she was against the tower.
“Our main concern is the loss of property enjoyment,” Colleen Kelly said at the Planning and Development meeting in February. “I am certain that there will be certain cameras put on this tower that would be a violation of our expectations of privacy within our own property guidelines and limits. This also causes concerns with our property values. We confirmed with two real estate agents that the expected reduction or resale value would be lowered by approximately 20 per cent.”
Despite resident concerns, Councillor John Peirce proposed an amendment to the recommendation, stating that while it is not in compliance with the guidelines, the County of Brant council believes it is the best location for the tower.
The motion passed and the message will be passed along.