Residents near Kennevale and Merner upset over planned cell phone tower

Residents in the area of Kennevale Drive and Merner Avenue are upset over a proposed cell phone tower to be built in their neighbourhood.

The area is one block east of Cedarview Road in West Barrhaven. Some of the residents of that area received a notice from Rogers regarding the cell tower, however not all did.

“We are consulting residents and businesses of this area regarding this proposed project,” the notice reads. “Details of this project are included in the present notification file. We invite you to take note of the proposed project and to provide us with any questions or comments in writing by 5pm June 16th. 2024, after which we will answer your concerns. You will then have the opportunity to submit further comments if you require additional clarifications.”

Multiple residents from the area contacted the Barrhaven Independent asking for their voices to be amplified to bring their concerns to public attention.

“The proposed location of the tower raises significant health concerns for our residents,” said Julie Gant. “The potential long-term effects of living in close proximity to a cell tower are worrisome, and many of us fear for our families’ well-being.

“Furthermore, the presence of this tower will likely lead to a decrease in property values, negatively impacting our investments and the overall desirability of our neighborhood.”

The tower, according to Rogers, is being built to improve cell coverage in the area and to meet the rising demands of service in the area. Rogers stated that it considered an existing Freedom Mobile tower 1.7km away, however it was determined that the structure was too far away to provide service to the targeted area. The location of the proposed tower, earmarked for 3023 Cedarview Road, was selected by Rogers on the basis that it would have minimal impact on the community while providing its goals of service improvement.

While many towers require a public consultation process, the Rogers tower is exempt from that process. Only towers 15 metres and taller require the public consultation. The planned tower is 14.9 metres in height.

Gant, who says there has been a lack of communication in the process, said their concerns are being ignored and dismissed. She also said the 14.9 metre height “appears to be a deliberate attempt to circumvent regulations and undermine our ability to oppose this project. Despite our persistent email campaigns and letters to Rogers, Wireless Site Specialists, ISED, and City Hall, we have received no meaningful responses.”

Another concern the residents in the area have is with regard to lighting. Rogers does not expect the tower to require lighting, but addressed it in case it does.

“ln the event the proposed tower requires lighting, it will include the following day lighting: one flashing white Type CL-865 beacon (20,000 candela) at the top (no tower paint) whereas the night lighting will include one flashing red Type CL-864 beacon (2,000 candela) at the top and 2 steady burning red CL-810 DOLs (32.5 candela) at mid-point, pursuant to Standard 621 – Obstruction Marking and Lighting – Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs). Should this information not be accurate, Rogers will inform residents.”

Another issue that was raised by the residents regards exposure to radiation, particularly for the children living in the area.