The City of Calgary is studying whether it can designate where cellphone towers will be built in new communities.
New towers are popping up all over Calgary as cellphone use increases, but unless the towers are higher than 15 metres there is little that can be done to stop them.
Ald. Richard Pootmans has attended meetings in his ward, where people say they are angry to find out a cell tower is going up in their neighbourhood.
"To me, that's not fair, and I think that we should have the ability to provide a bit more certainty to residents and taxpayers in the city," said Pootmans.
He wants the city to examine pre-approved cell tower sites in proposed communities.
Council will now ask officials to study whether the city can designate cell tower sites in future communities, so that people who move into those areas will know exactly where the towers will be.
"We know from area structure planning and outline planning where the development is generally going to be in terms of higher-rise commercial buildings or office buildings or the various nodes — the retail nodes — that will occur in new communities," said Pootmans.
"Let’s identify those at the outset before people move in, so that when a resident does choose to live in a new community, they'll have a little bit more certainty, a bit more comfort as to where the towers might be."
Telus official Chris Gerritsen said the idea is worth studying.
"The concept of it is something we're definitely supportive of. It's a good idea," Gerritsen said.
"The important thing to remember, really, is that the industry be involved right from the planning stages."
A report will go to city council next year on the implications of including potential cell tower sites in the planning process.