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MP calls for government to reject south end tower

Local MP Frank Valeriote has urged federal Industry Minister Christian Paradis to reject an application by Rogers Communications to erect a telecommunications tower near the intersection of Gordon Street and Kortright Road.
In a letter sent this month, Valeriote added his voice to that of city council and residents who oppose the proposal to erect a 40-metre (131-foot-tall) tower at 987 Gordon St. on a back corner of a commercial plaza.
A tower built there wouldn’t comply with a policy passed by council in 2001 dealing with commercial towers and antennas. Given the height of the proposed tower, in order to comply with the city policy it would need to be twice as far away from homes as is being proposed.
In his letter to Paradis, Valeriote said he agreed with the stand taken by council last month against the tower, which Rogers says would provide better reception in the city’s south end for cellphones, tablets and other electronic devices.
The decision on whether to permit the tower rests with Industry Canada, the department headed by Paradis, and Valeriote urged Paradis to intervene in the case.
“Residents of Guelph, and in particular many who will be directly impacted, have made their opposition to this tower installation at this location very clear,” said Valeriote’s letter.
“Their concerns range from the negative visual impact and detrimental effect on neighbouring property values, to the tower’s non-compliance with the adopted policies regarding the character and priorities of the City of Guelph, to the negative impact on the health of those living near the tower – the perception of which, substantiated or not, is shared by many in the surrounding area and is no doubt creating a considerable degree of avoidable anxiety,” he said.
“These alone should establish the proposed site on Gordon Street as entirely inappropriate, given the considerable residential population surrounding it and the availability of alternative sites.”
Valeriote said Rogers should be able to find a more suitable site for its tower. “One of the principles of the city’s policy that guides such decisions was that the preferred location for the development of new towers within the city be in its industrial areas or in rural areas which are away from existing or future residential development,” he noted.

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