WINNIPEG – There will be a public meeting Wednesday night regarding a massive cellphone tower that could be built in a quiet River Heights neighbourhood.
MTS wants to erect an 18 metre tower at the corner of Niagara Street and Grosvenor Avenue on a property they own and already use as a relay station.
Rachel Larkins lives right by the proposed project and tells Richard Cloutier Reports homeowners in the residential area are fuming over the idea.
“There are all sorts of issues: health related, devaluing property, but my main concern is why is a commercial object allowed to be in a residential zone,” said Larkins.
The tower will be three times the height of the nearest building and only about four metres away from the closest home.
The company notified all 19 homeowners in the immediate radius of the of property, but Larkins believes MTS should have notified everyone in the community.
“We don’t really consider that our whole community. It’s more homes than the 19 that they consulted about this,” Larkins argued.
The residents plan to protest against the proposal at the open house Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Corydon Community Centre (1370 Grosevenor Ave).
Homeowners said they plan to present a petition from those who live in the area and are opposed to the cell tower.
MTS spokesperson Jeremy Sawatzky says the company did extensive research and consultation before deciding on this spot for the tower. He says that includes looking at other places first.
“We looked at a number of locations and it was determined that this particular site provides the best signal quality to the widest area of the community.”
He says the tower won’t be an eyesore like some neighbours have suggested.
“We’re talking about something that’s going to be shrouded inside of a brick chimney, essentially camouflaged,” he says. “Something that we feel will really seamlessly blend in to the feel of the neighbourhood.”
Sawatzky won’t say how much the tower will cost to build. He says the tower meets Health Canada safety guidelines and MTS always complies with laws to ensure their towers are safe.
He says MTS will be handing out comment cards at the meeting tonight and following up with concerned residents. He says the matter would then go to the City of Winnipeg level.