Community anger has forced Rogers Wireless to stop construction of a new cellphone tower in the southwest Calgary community of Bankview.
Residents say they were not consulted about the tower at 1919 19th Street S.W. because the company used a loophole in federal regulations.
“We were going to the city saying, ‘Why is there no building permit?’ And the city says, ‘We have nothing on record that there's construction here’. The city hasn't been told because Rogers never put in an application,” said area resident Virginia Van Hahn.
An old 30-metre ham radio tower stood where Rogers began erecting its new tower.
According to company officials, Industry Canada rules stipulate Rogers didn’t have to submit an application because the construction was technically a modification of an existing tower, and would be less than 25 per cent higher.
“That's where this causes me a great deal of concern,” Coun. Evan Woolley said.
“When you don't consult the neighbours when you’re undertaking really big, really visual projects in the community.”
Richmond/Knob Hill Community Association board member Doug Roberts said he was also unhappy with Rogers.
“Suddenly now that ham radio tower has been demolished and a new tower is going up that is going to have significant telecommunication equipment on it,” he said.
“And that's a completely different use, a completely different tower and a much bigger issue than the scouts occasionally transmitting on a ham radio.”
Rogers says it has now put construction on hold while the company consults with community members.