Regional District Okanagan Similkameen Area “D” Director Tom Siddon put forward a notice of motion at the August 7 regular board meeting proposing a siting policy for cellular and large utility towers.
Saying he was “haunted by the Fortis transmission towers lining the east shoreline of Skaha Lake, Siddon wanted to see new policy prepared by staff that would provide the directors with tools to regulate placement of communications towers. A 70 metre cell tower is currently being proposed for the upper Carmi area, which is in Siddon’s electoral area.
Naramata Director Karla Kozakevich commented on a current issue in the community of Naramata with respect to a 40 metre cellular tower proposed for construction in the vicinity of the KVR trail, while Area “G” Director Angelique Wood reminded the board of the issues in Hedley regarding the placement of a Telus tower in that community last year. She further reminded the board of a siting template the board adopted in 2013, telling the board the 35 page document contained the tools needed by the planning department.
Penticton Director Gary Litke agreed with the need for the board to get involved in tower placement decisions, referring to communications towers as “techno-obscenities.”
The board moved to request RDOS planning staff be “requested to develop a new tower siting policy and procedural guidelines to be followed during the review of proposals for wireless radio towers and large utility towers in proximity to residential areas; this policy to consider the potential for both visual and electro-magnetic disturbances, and the degree of negative impact on adjacent property values resulting therefrom.”