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Cell Tower Plan Nixed In Bronte Village

Posted in News Updates Written by David Lea

A 14.9-metre Bell Mobility cell tower proposed for 3135 Lakeshore Rd. W., will not be built.

The company abandoned the project, Bell Canada representative Jason Laszlo confirmed Monday, but declined to divulge the reason.

“We no longer plan to build a site at this location, but are working with the municipality to improve wireless coverage in the area to meet growing demand,” said Laszlo in an email to the Oakville Beaver.

The proposed tower, which residents became aware of in July, was unpopular with the surrounding community, where residents voiced concerns about the possible health impacts of having a cell tower so close to homes.

The site that was being considered for the tower currently houses Drago’s Auto Body.

The residents’ association Canadians for Safe Technology (C4ST), raised awareness in the area about the cell tower plan by distributing flyers and urging homeowners to contact Bell, Industry Canada and local officials to voice objections.

C4ST is led by Oakville’s Frank Clegg, who headed Citizens for Clean Air (C4CA), a residents’ group that fought plans for a gas-fired power plant in the town’s east end.

“We’re pleased with the outcome and I think it is a good example where the community got involved, the local councillor got involved, the MP got involved and the landowner got educated and realized this wasn’t the best thing to do for the neighbourhood,” said Clegg.

“I always worry because they still need to put coverage there and I hope the cure won’t be worse than the disease. We’ll have to see what Bell comes back with as a solution.”

Ward 1 Town Councillor Ralph Robinson said he worked with the owner of the property for which the cell tower was proposed to resolve the matter.

The veteran councillor said the Town agreed to consider a proposal to build two single-family homes on the site, which swayed the property owner.

“This is extremely pleasing,” said Robinson.

“I and many others are very excited and grateful that this worked out the way it did. I think we have to recognize the fact that Michael Dimitrovski (Drago’s owner) played a big part in this. If he had said, ‘No way, I’m not going to do anything different,’ we probably wouldn’t have accomplished this.”

In an email to the Oakville Beaver in mid-December, Dimitrovski said that due to the overwhelmingly negative response of local residents, he had contacted Bell and asked if it would consider terminating the contract and not erecting the cell tower.

When reached for comment on Wednesday, Dimitrovski said he had yet to hear from Bell on the matter.

This is the second cell tower that has been scrapped in Bronte in recent months.

Last August, DH Westview Properties Ltd., which owns Bronte Estates at 128 Bronte Rd., sent a memo to its tenants stating plans to install Rogers Communications cell towers on the property’s roof were being put on hold.

“Industry Canada has determined that RF (radiofrequency) fields emitted by wireless communications networks fall well below what they consider a danger to human health. However, DH Westview would prefer to wait for even lower frequency emissions than their standard level — Safety Code 6,” the memo stated.

“At this time, the installation of the cell towers has been put on hold and we hope the Canadian government will enforce lower RF field guidelines and follow the example of some other countries. In future, we will keep you informed of all updates along the way.”

Halton Region’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Bob Nosal, has said there is no convincing evidence weak radio frequency signals from cell towers cause adverse health effects.

However, Nosal has also acknowledged the agreement between Health Canada, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer that additional research is warranted.

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