Site of the proposed TELUS cell tower in Qualicum Bay. (TELUS Map)

Site of the proposed TELUS cell tower in Qualicum Bay. (TELUS Map)

Residents raise concerns over proposed cellphone tower in Qualicum Bay

TELUS proposes building a 63-metre steel self-support structure

Some residents in Qualicum Bay are upset to hear about plans to build a cellphone tower at 210 Cochrane Rd.

TELUS has notified residents in the area it proposes to build a 63-metre, steel self-support tower to improve wireless services for residents and businesses in Qualicum Bay, approximately 15 minutes from Qualicum Beach.

Longtime resident Bob Hunt said he is disturbed to hear the news.

“All the rural houses in our area will be affected,” said Hunt. “Some people are more concerned about the radiation and some people are just concerned about their property values. I am concerned about the aesthetics of having a tower with a flashing lights on it so close to my property. That’s what I would see from my window.”

Chris Sampson, who also lives on Welch Road, understands the need to improve the cellphone service but he is also very concerned about potential health impacts.

The proposed site for the tower is on private land. It was selected by TELUS as it was the only industrial zoned property in the community, which is in Electoral Area H (Bowser, Qualicum Bay, Deep Bay). The property is also setback from adjacent residences and separated from residential properties by an existing railroad track minimizing potential visual impacts on the community.

READ MORE: Qualicum Beach moves forward on alternative recommendation for proposed cell tower

Hunt suggested a suitable site for the tower near the Big Qualicum River bridge or the overpass where Cochrane Road crosses Highway 19. He also recommended the Cochrane Road BC Hydro substation as a potential location as it is not likely to be residential, has a power source, easy road access and is already used for large-scale utilities.

TELUS has set a deadline of April 12 at the end of business day for residents to submit their comments. They can email them to briangregg@sitepathconsulting.com or mail them to 2528 Alberta St., Vancouver, BC V5Y 3L1, Attention: Brian Gregg

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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