DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Councillors were greeted with the first wave of opposition to a proposed cellular communications tower near Sandford at their meeting on the morning of Monday, June 3.
The tower, which is proposed to be located at 8699 Conc. 3 near Sandford was panned by Ward 2 Councillor Pat Molloy during a presentation from Duane Lovelace, a consultant with the Altus Group working on behalf of Bell Mobility.
"Residents vehemently oppose this tower, it is the worst location you could have chosen," Councillor Molloy said. "In my opinion it will negatively affect property values and residents may choose not to use Bell as their carrier if this tower goes in. This tower is only 3.5 kilometres from another tower near Zephyr, and this appears to be an abuse of the process."
Later in their meeting, councillors heard a presentation from local resident Wayne Welsh whose property sits adjacent to the proposed location. If approved, the tower will sit just 10 feet from his property line. "What's being proposed is a 60 metre lattice tower, which is the ugliest tower you can find. I don't think there's anyone in this room that wouldn't see red in my position," commented Mr. Welsh.
During his presentation, Mr. Welsh added that he had collected a petition with more than 90 signatures from concerned residents in the area.
Mr. Welsh also noted the recent influx of cellular communications towers in the rural areas between his Uxbridge home and Markham where he works.
"The green zone is becoming the red light district," added Mr. Welsh, noting the distinctive red lights that dot the rural landscape during nighttime hours.
Ward 3 Councillor Pat Mikuse agreed that the current proposal appears far too close to Mr. Welsh's property when taking into account the 100 acre property the tower will sit on.
"If there's 100 acres there has to be a better area for the tower than 10 feet from your property line," said Councillor Mikuse.
Meanwhile, Ward 5 Councillor Gord Highet, whose ward was at the centre of a controversial tower proposal last year near Quaker Village, explained the township's
frustration with Industry Canada guidelines that ultimately decide where towers can be located. "I agree that the notification process for these things stink," opined Councillor Highet. "We find it frustrating that we are the land use authority, but have virtually no say if the Industry Canada guidelines are followed." Councillor Molloy ended the discussion by vowing to fight the proposed tower alongside the residents of his ward.
"There are so many other areas this could've gone and residents are prepared to fight this," Councillor Molloy said. "We'll be back and we'll fill the room."
No date has been set for a public meeting regarding the project at this time, but once the project moves further along it will be part of the approval process.
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