Saskatoon adds new cell tower guidelines
Saskatoon City Council has voted to tighten the controls on small cellular towers located close to people's homes.
Currently, there's no need for a public meeting for new cell towers if they're less than 15 metres tall.
However, under a new rule approved Monday, there must be public consultation on any cell tower if it's to be built within 30 metres of a home.
There are also new guidelines encouraging designs for the towers so they blend into their surroundings. Towers that go on existing power poles are exempt from the rules.
The guidelines would tend to have an impact on wireless phone companies, but SaskTel president Ron Styles said he's not concerned.
Styles said the policy gives the company options that could leave everybody happy.
"Where there's a new stealth pole, that's great from our perspective," he said. "It might be doing something on top of an existing street light pole, that would be great as well."
The company plans to build 15 more cell towers in the city in the next six months. There are 43 towers in Saskatoon right now.
Final say over approving cell towers is, in fact, not under the City of Saskatoon's jurisdiction — it's Industry Canada's call.
Industry Canada requires that local communities be consulted, however.