Controversial cell tower proposal in Coombs clears another hurdle

Committee indicates Rogers satisfactorily completed requirements

A towering issue that angered some Coombs residents may soon be considered by the Regional District of Nanaimo for recommendation to the Minister of Innovation, Science, Economic Development for approval.

Rogers Communications Inc. has a proposal to erect a 61-metre, self-supported telecommunications tower on private land in Coombs, located at 2540 Alberni Highway.

The Electoral Area Services Committee, at its meeting on Tuesday, May 14, said that Rogers had satisfactorily completed all requirements including consultation with the public. Staff also indicated that the regional district concurs with the land use of Rogers’ plan to construct a wireless telecommunications facility. Before all of these developments are relayed to Rogers and the ministry, regional district staff’s recommendations will still have to go through the RDN committee of the whole for discussion, before presenting it to the RDN board for approval.

Once that is achieved, the RDN’s land use concurrence of the project will be submitted to the Minister of Innovation, Science, Economic Development (ISED), which has sole jurisdiction over inter-provincial and international communication facilities and makes the final decision to approve and license the location of the antenna systems.

Local governments are referred applications for proposed towers and are provided the opportunity to comment on the proposal.

Rogers initiated the project in Coombs following complaints about poor cellular service in the area.

READ MORE: Rogers spends nearly half the $3.47 billion raised by wireless spectrum auction

There was a public information meeting hosted by Rogers on March 1 at the Arrowsmith Hall in Coombs and 35 people attended and 37 written submissions were received. Most expressed opposition and were concerned it was too close to residential properties. They feared it would have potential health risks as well as adversely impact the aesthetic of area, environment and property values. Out of 37 responses received from the meeting, seven were in support and 27 were against it and three were neither for nor against.

An alternative site was suggested by residents but Rogers was not able to get a lease agreement with the owner nor were they able to find another suitable location.

An online petition was organized in opposition of the proposed tower and had 184 people sign. According to RDN staff, Rogers has provided responses to key concerns and are satisfied with them.

No further public consultation will be required from Rogers.

Rogers has provided site plans, detailed structure description and renderings, elevation plans and photo simulations in support of their proposal.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rebound recovery program helps more than 50 PQB businesses remain open

Nearly $90K in aid received through Oceanside Initiatives plan

Parksville family receives anonymous letters complaining children are being too loud

Letter said the noise of kids playing in the backyard is ‘unbearable’

PQBeat Podcast: Beloved Parksville volunteer Joan LeMoine

Discussion includes childhood memories, receiving the key to the city and more

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Most Read