Cellular antennae and associated equipment are proposed for a building on Alexander Street in Salmon Arm.
The city has received notification from Medallion Wireless, on behalf of Rogers Wireless, that Rogers proposes to install “six initial antennas and one microwave, with room for three additional antennas in the future, comparable to what might be located on a cellular tower,” according to a city planning report.
The equipment will be placed on the roof of 320 Alexander St. NE, the building between the CIBC and Shuswap Clothing & Shoe C0mpany, which houses several businesses including Crazy River Clothing Co. and the Montebello Dental Clinic.
No public consultation is required because the installation meets city criteria: locating antennas on an existing rooftop is a preferred location, as are areas designated commercial by the official community plan. Also, the installation will extend 2.61 metres from the roof, which is less than the three-metre maximum recommended.
The proposal is also exempt from federal consultation requirements. The planning department notes the regulation of installation of cellular towers is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government and its agencies (for example, Industry Canada and Health Canada), meaning the city’s bylaws don’t apply.
However, the city’s policy does request that it is notified of such installations, which Rogers is respecting.
In a March 19 letter to the city, Marshall Rasmussen of Medallion Wireless notes the company has consulted with planning staff to identify a suitable design and location for the installation.
“The purpose of this site is to respond to the rapid growing demand for wireless voice and data communication services, such as mobile broadband and video service for use on smartphones, computer tablets and laptops,” Rasmussen wrote. “With the growing wireless traffic, dependable service availability has diminished and will continue to diminish until additional wireless telecommunication infrastructure is installed to relieve this network capacity issue. This installation will also help provide emergency service coverage.”
The report from city planning staff concluded: “In the opinion of staff, the visual impact of the structure is mitigated by its position on a downtown roof with existing rooftop equipment, the small size of the proposed installation, as well as the confirmation from the proponent that the antennae will be painted to match the building.”
The proposal will be discussed by city council at the Monday, May 6 planning and development services meeting, which is held at 8 a.m. in council chambers.