Bell cancels North York cell tower

Plans for backyard cell tower abandoned
But Bell looks for new site in the surrounding area
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier May 6.)

L-R: William Marlatt, wife Lee, 1-year-old son and neighbour Wilfred McOstrich want proposed cell phone tower moved. Photo by Francis Crescia.

William Marlatt is pleased Bell Canada has abandoned plans for a 40-metre high cell phone tower steps from his infant son’s bedroom.
Marlatt, who with neighbour Wilfred McOstrich started what they call the Anti-Bell Coalition, gathered hundreds of signatures on a petition and encouraged residents to fight the proposal.
Bell had planned to erect cell phone tower at 4800 Leslie St., but has since backed down.
“It appears Bell has gone back to the drawing board,” Marlatt said May 3. “I am elated and grateful for all the neighbours who wrote emails and correspondence to various levels of government.”Bell Canada sent letters to residents and city reps indicating its intent was to increase service with the new flagpole cell tower, but recognized opposition to the location.
“Bell acknowledges that the neighbourhood does not want a 40 metre monopole in such proximity to the Wild Briarway complex and we have therefore conducted a review of the proposed location,” states an April 22 letter from Andrew Pask, manager of municipal affairs for Bell.
However, Bell is still looking for a cell tower location in the Leslie, Peachwillow, Nymark area but it has promised to work with the city to select the best location.
Marlatt’s advice to others in similar situations is don’t accept that an issue is a done deal that can’t be contested.
“Get involved. Get your neighbours involved,” he said.
The decision of where to allow cell phone tower locations isn’t in the city’s jurisdiction but rather with the federal government’s Industry Canada. That said, the city does have some say in the process, said councillor Shelley Carroll.
It’s fairly recent for the city to get advance notice before a cell phone tower location is approved.
“Now municipalities have adequate notice,” said Carroll. “We get involved with the notification process.”
The city sends out public notices to residents’ homes regarding proposed cell phone towers and Carroll encourages people to stay informed by reading these letters
“People often weed them out with junk mail,” she said. “Always read the public notices.”
Once people knew about the proposal they showed up on mass to a few meetings held by city and federal reps. That seems to have had an impact.
“What interesting is that Bell withdrew from the contested location even before Industry Canada reviewed the location,” she said. “(Bell) indicated they may wait because there’s new, less evasive technology and new science with less emissions.”

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