Cell tower vote requirements questioned

Telus officials raise last-minute objections to new Langley Township rules.

A last-minute objection by Telus failed to prevent passage of a new Langley Township regulation that requires an 80 per cent vote from people living near any proposed new cell phone antenna.

Telus director of government relations Maureen Kirkbride and real estate and government affairs manager Chad Marlatt spoke at the Monday night meeting shortly before the final vote on the new tower regulations.

Kirkbride asked for a postponement to allow company representatives to meet with council and explain their concerns.

They said the 80 per cent requirement would be all but impossible to achieve, but were unable to say what would be an acceptable threshold.

“We don’t want to be prescriptive,” Kirkbride said.

Under questioning by councillor Bob Long, Marlatt said Telus knows most people don’t want a cell tower near their homes.

Usually, he said, only 10 per cent of nearby residents will support a new cell tower.

While the Township doesn’t actually have legal authority to prevent construction of cell towers, Marlatt said Industry Canada, the federal authority that does have the power, will likely defer to the Township.

“They [Industry Canada] don’t actually make decisions,” Marlatt said.

He said Langley needs to upgrade its cell networks to keep up with “overwhelming” demand from a rapidly growing community, and that means upgrading existing towers and adding new ones.

Marlatt said Langley currently has the second highest number of complaints about cell service in B.C.

He was unable to provide specific numbers.

Marlatt and Kirkbride both said better cell coverage would improve public safety because 60 per cent of all 911 calls come from mobile devices.

They said the Telus position is supported by the other cell phone service providers operating in Langley.

Later that night, Township council approved the cell tower regulations by an eight-to-one vote.

Under the new rules, cell phone companies will have to pay the cost of polling residents within a 500 metre radius of the proposed towers.

Just Posted

Spartans clinch first place in Pacific Division with win over UBC

It was ‘a really physical battle in a crosstown rivalry’ coach says

Volunteers keep BC Farm Museum running like a well-oiled machine

Collection, started in 1953, continues to expand beyond museum’s capacity to contain it

VIDEO: G-Men seek revenge Saturday night in rematch at Langley Events Centre

Portland’s Winterhawks downed the Vancouver Giants 5-3 during a road trip down south.

UPDATE: Abbotsford murder victim was brother of slain gang leader

Mandeep Grewal gunned down Thursday, brother Gavin killed in North Van in 2017

Children’s author shares her story with West Langley Elementary students

Gabrielle Prendergast toured Fraser Valley schools and libraries from Oct. 15-19.

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

3 in serious condition after altercation on Granville strip: police

Patrol officers came upon the fight just after 3 a.m. on Granville Street near Helmcken Street

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Pedestrian rushed to Lower Mainland hospital after being hit by car

Friday night crash is latest in rash of collisions involving pedestrians in Surrey

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Most Read