Bell proposes cross-shaped cell tower for Milton

Proposed Bell mobile tower at New Life Church Milton

An application has been made by Altus Group Limited (on behalf of Bell Canada) to install a new cell tower in Milton in front of New Life Church on Thompson Road just north of Clark Boulevard.

Oh, and it’s not just any cell tower. As you can see by the image (included in the proposal), it’s a big, shiny, cross-shaped tower, because, you know, they’re going to be planting this thing smack dab in the middle of a church and all…

Ward 6 Councillor Mike Cluett (whom we affectionately refer to as ‘the hardest-working councillor in Milton’) fills us in on the details:

The date of the application is February 28th and this starts the process for input from places like the Town of Milton. I had originally posted the due date for submissions was March 20th, but that is wrong.  The notices haven’t been sent out to area residents as of yet but will be sent shortly.  There will be an opportunity to send in your input and in addition to that there WILL be a public meeting scheduled for a later date before the decision is made by Industry Canada.

Its important to know that the Town of Milton is a commenting agent only.  The town will not be making the decision on this matter as it is under the jurisdiction of Industry Canada, which is the federal government.

Notices WILL Be sent out to homes in the area of 120m radius of the proposed location which encompasses homes in both Ward 7 and Ward 6.

The tower will reach a height of 29.9 metres tall.

The proposal is for the installation of a cross-style steel telecommunications mono-pole tower.

It will include:

  • Fenced mechanical compount 8 x 9m (equipment shed dimensions 2.03 x 2.44m)
  • Installation of buried hydro line and/or overhead hydro line
  • Installation of concrete-filled bollards
  • Planting of spruce trees to surround compound.

If you do have any questions, please contact:

Angela Janzen, Planner – Policy
Town of Milton
150 Mary Street
Milton, ON L9T 6Z5
Email: angela.janzen@milton.ca

So there you have it, folks. A giant, cross-themed cell tower — clever, or another addition to the list of eyesores around town?

As always, your comments are welcome and encouraged: we direct your attention to the comments section and our unscientific poll below.


 

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43 Comments

  1. thenay says:

    Nice to see a tower built with thought.. in Hawaii they’re like palm tress in most parts :-)

    Reply
  2. Larshy says:

    There was something on the news last night about a cell tower in Oakville being built beside a firehall and the health issues around it being so close to the building. The meeting hall was full and no one from the cell company came to talk to the public. Why does it have to be so close to people?

    Reply
  3. Prickly_Pete says:

    I was looking for the right words to describe this. A 100′ middle finger indeed. It’s fucking disgusting. This would never fly in a place that respects its appearance. And these places do exist, with thriving businesses.

    This town needs some laws to keep it from looking like a giant circus. Between the generally ugly storefront signage around town, the ridiculously large and bright OASIS dental signs, the light-board advertisement signs at Main/Ontario and Main/James Snow, and now this – we’re looking like a shitty version of Vegas. A really cheesy, half-assed, shitty version.

    GUARANTEE if this were going to be happening at a mosque, people would be going totally batshit crazy about it.

    Reply
    • Editor says:

      I wasn’t sure about this at first, but after reading the comment, I think Prickly_Pete is bang on. This thing looks pretty cheesy, making me think I’d almost prefer the usual industrial-looking, run-of-the-mill cell phone tower here.

      Re: the comments about the increasing number of eyesores around town, well, I would agree with that. It’s a much larger issue, but Milton is badly in need of some aesthetic standards like you see in places like Burlington and Oakville before it’s too late — and it may already be.

      Reply
  4. Mike Cluett says:

    To play devils advocate people want better cell service and the only way to improve that cell service is more towers. But no one wants them near them. They have to be high up in order for people to be serviced properly.

    This is the reason why I posted this on my site … to get people to send their comments in. There will be a public meeting coming up and I will ask that the people who are making the application attend as the other meetings in surrounding areas they didnt.

    The town of Milton does not make the decision on this…we simply facilitate comments to come in from the public and Industry Canada makes the final decision on this. Stay tuned to http://www.miltonsearch.com and my site http://www.mikecluett.ca and as soon as the public meeting is announced, I’ll make sure people know so their opinions can be heard. Commenting on websites is good but we need to send these comments in officially so our voice is heard.

    Reply
  5. telsky says:

    Why not design something more universally and community applicable? Tis church land though.

    Reply
  6. Jeff Futers says:

    If Bell wants it on church land, the church should be able to have some input as to how it looks. And a symbol with meaning, whatever it is, I think is more pleasing to the eye than just the run of the mill cell tower. If the town is willing to have it on their land – then something more universal might be appropriate.

    Reply
  7. Mike Cluett says:

    Its my understanding in these matters the cell companies approach the property owners to sign an agreement. Seeing that its a church, the cross is appropriate. I agree that if its town property, something more universal would be in order.

    More details will follow during this process.

    Reply
  8. David says:

    I am one of the home owners who just got notified of this cell tower. Let’s just say I am not happy…

    I think it is completely reckless for a church that runs a daycare would agree to such thing. If my children went to that daycare they would be pulled from the school. It is amazing how someone (the Pastor) would put the all mighty dollar ahead of the children and families in the community. There are many countries other than Canada that have published studies that say that these things should not be anywhere near residential houses or schools/daycares. I even understand that the City of Toronto is starting to take the same position and only allowing these things in non-residential areas.

    It is interesting how they will never put one of these things near a public school in Milton … I wonder why???

    This tower is the choice of the Pastor and he can say no to Bell at anytime … Shame on him!!!!

    The other issue is, do we really want a 100 foot cross located on one of the main streets leading into and out of Milton? You will see this think for miles. What’s next as far as religious symbols of this size? I am amazed Milton does not have any by-laws regarding this issue. If it was a 100 foot pole with a moon on top, there would be objection from at least 80% of Milton’s population.

    Yours truly,

    David

    Reply
  9. David says:

    Question for the Milton Champion news paper …

    As this eyesore will affect all residences of Milton in one way or another … why has it not been front page news in our paper?

    I know it is hard to compete with a kid on a bike enjoying the nice weather in the March 13th addition … but come on … this is a real issue that everyone should be aware, of not just the 40 houses that got the mailer.

    Reply
  10. David says:

    I also wonder if there were other locations available that were not 25 feet from a major road … or was this just an easy sell to the church?

    This question needs to be asked!!!

    Reply
  11. Mike Cluett says:

    Ive updated my website with details of a public meeting information session to be held on April 12th at 7pm Milton Leisure Centre.

    http://mikecluett.ca/2012/03/update-bell-cell-tower-proposal/

    Reply
  12. David says:

    I have a call into the Milton Champion news paper … Playing telephone tag … When I here more I will post … I urge everyone to call so they take this serious and word gets out beyond the 40 houses that got the notice.

    905-878-2341

    Also, from what I can tell from reviewing prior cases in North America … It is virtually impossible to win this fight on the possible heath issue … the only chance we have is the closeness to Thomson Rd and the “eye sore” factor.

    We also need to know if there were alternative locations proposed that were not right bang in the open.

    Mike: Are you aware of any of the alternative locations as I assume these would have been passed through City Council eyes for at least comment.

    Reply
  13. Mike Cluett says:

    Hi Dave,

    As far as I know there are not any alternate locations proposed for this cell tower as its a deal with the New Life Church and Bell Canada with Industry Canada having the only say if its approved.

    Unfortunatley Town Council doesnt have a say but I beleive staff does provide comments that they received from the public in a submission. Ultimately Industry Canada has the final say but Im forwarding information that I receive to our MP Lisa Raitt as well to keep her in the loop of what the community is saying .

    Reply
  14. Kristen says:

    In the 50’s tobacco companies gave out free cigarettes to patients in hospitals even though hospital knew it caused emphysema … obviously we now know better!

    20 years ago you would not think twice on lighting up a cigarette at work or use asbestos in construction … again, we now know better!

    Pastor Dan Rogge, in the coming years if it is found that these cell towers have some degree of a negative effect on people, especially on young children, is a couple thousand dollars a month worth it?

    I would have assumed a man of God would put the health of over 200 children who spend 8 hours a day next to this tower ahead of a pay cheque.

    Ask yourself, what would you say to the parents?

    Reply
  15. Carrie says:

    I completely understand that cell phone towers are needed. Everyone is on their portable devices 24/7. However, I think that if these towers are built high enough to reach people’s devices, they can be built further away. What cell phone tower has my portable device been accessing now? Its not in my backyard that’s for sure. So why does this have to be built so close to people? I am especially upset that anyone would even think about proposing something so close to a daycare. Think of our future. The debate about whether or not wireless technology and children is a big deal and studies have shown that wireless waves have some effect. How does something like this not be included in the debate?
    I will certainly be sending a letter to Industry Canada and Bell.

    Reply
  16. Kristen says:

    City of Toronto Staff Report:

    Prudent Avoidance Policy on Siting Telecommunication
    Towers and Antennas

    http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2007/hl/bgrd/backgroundfile-8919.pdf

    Reply
  17. Mike Cluett says:

    Comments are great on forums etc but its important for everyone to get their comments in to the proper organization and questions will be answered hopefully before the April 12th open house.

    Altus Group
    33 Yonge Street 5th Floor
    Toronto ON M5E 1G4
    Attn: Morteza Alabaf
    Email: comments.agi@altusgroup.com
    Fax 416-204-1200

    Reply
  18. Kristen says:

    I don’t think you will find one house within 3 kilometres of the church that thinks this cell tower at this church is a good idea.

    So far Lisa Raitt has not responded to any of the emails or letter that I have or my neighbours have sent … that is a lot of votes.

    Reply
  19. David says:

    FYI – I just met with Rick Di Lorenzo Local Councillor for Ward 7 … long story short he will not give his official or unofficial support to us.

    I even asked if we had a petition signed by 1,000 people in the area … would he sign it … he said no (unless the daycare did).

    Get the word out … the only way to get this stopped is strength in numbers (Call your neighbours).

    Oh ya … I had a voice mail from Tony Lambert … I will keep you all posted.

    Reply
  20. David says:

    Oh ya … I got a response back from Lisa Raitt’s office …you can also count her support out as well.

    It would have been nice if she actually sent the response herself … it not like we are having problems with garbage removal or some other mundane issue.

    I would have thought this issue would grab her attention for at least 5 minutes.

    I guess we are only registered voters.

    Reply
  21. David says:

    I know that Milton city council is limited on what they can do and can not do with regards to this cell tower … but I would suspect that their support would go a long way with public opinion, etc.

    I therefore sent today identical letters to the Mayor as well as all council member outlining both the potential health issue as well as the “eye sore” factor … I will keep you posted.

    Reply
  22. David says:

    Well another good read … The International Association of Fire Fighters Position on Cell Towers:

    http://mybronte.ca/wp/blog/oakville-professional-fire-fighters-association/

    Reply
  23. David says:

    Last night I proposed to set up a meeting for the home owners in the area to discuss face to face.

    It does not look like the weather is going to cooperate with us this weekend … so as a precaution, if you intend to come please send me your email address in advance just incase we have to move the location.

    David

    Reply
  24. David says:

    oh ya … my email address is: david_coulter@sympatico.ca

    Reply
  25. David says:

    The link below is from a public presentation that occurred a couple weeks ago in Oakville. Very informative and covers the studies that many of us have been referencing as well as puts all the technical jargon in a manner that the average person can understand.

    After watching this video, if my children attended that daycare I would pull my kids from that daycare tomorrow … they are effectively cooking those kids.

    I also found interesting is that the people outside the 120 meter radius are worse off than we are (ie the people who got the notice). If you live 500 – 800 feet from this thing move now!!!!

    http://citizensforsafetechnology.org/cell-towers-in-schools-children-and-families,60,0

    Any government official whether our local politicians to our MP who does not support this issue proactively has to start asking themselves some really deep ethical questions … why not?

    David.

    Reply
  26. Dr Roberts says:

    Health concerns from the World Health Organization
    A common concern about base station and local wireless network antennas relates to the possible long-term health effects that whole-body exposure to the RF signals may have. To date, the only health effect from RF fields identified in scientific reviews has been related to an increase in body temperature (> 1 °C) from exposure at very high field intensity found only in certain industrial facilities, such as RF heaters. The levels of RF exposure from base stations and wireless networks are so low that the temperature increases are insignificant and do not affect human health.
    The strength of RF fields is greatest at its source, and diminishes quickly with distance. Access near base station antennas is restricted where RF signals may exceed international exposure limits. Recent surveys have indicated that RF exposures from base stations and wireless technologies in publicly accessible areas (including schools and hospitals) are normally thousands of times below international standards.
    In fact, due to their lower frequency, at similar RF exposure levels, the body absorbs up to five times more of the signal from FM radio and television than from base stations. This is because the frequencies used in FM radio (around 100 MHz) and in TV broadcasting (around 300 to 400 MHz) are lower than those employed in mobile telephony (900 MHz and 1800 MHz) and because a person’s height makes the body an efficient receiving antenna. Further, radio and television broadcast stations have been in operation for the past 50 or more years without any adverse health consequence being established.
    While most radio technologies have used analog signals, modern wireless telecommunications are using digital transmissions. Detailed reviews conducted so far have not revealed any hazard specific to different RF modulations.
    Cancer: Media or anecdotal reports of cancer clusters around mobile phone base stations have heightened public concern. It should be noted that geographically, cancers are unevenly distributed among any population. Given the widespread presence of base stations in the environment, it is expected that possible cancer clusters will occur near base stations merely by chance. Moreover, the reported cancers in these clusters are often a collection of different types of cancer with no common characteristics and hence unlikely to have a common cause.
    Scientific evidence on the distribution of cancer in the population can be obtained through carefully planned and executed epidemiological studies. Over the past 15 years, studies examining a potential relationship between RF transmitters and cancer have been published. These studies have not provided evidence that RF exposure from the transmitters increases the risk of cancer. Likewise, long-term animal studies have not established an increased risk of cancer from exposure to RF fields, even at levels that are much higher than produced by base stations and wireless networks.
    Other effects: Few studies have investigated general health effects in individuals exposed to RF fields from base stations. This is because of the difficulty in distinguishing possible health effects from the very low signals emitted by base stations from other higher strength RF signals in the environment. Most studies have focused on the RF exposures of mobile phone users. Human and animal studies examining brain wave patterns, cognition and behavior after exposure to RF fields, such as those generated by mobile phones, have not identified adverse effects. RF exposures used in these studies were about 1000 times higher than those associated with general public exposure from base stations or wireless networks. No consistent evidence of altered sleep or cardiovascular function has been reported.

    Reply
  27. David says:

    Dr Roberts … What is you conclusion?

    What are you a doctor of?

    I choose to believe this… (and the studies included)

    http://citizensforsafetechnology.org/cell-towers-in-schools-children-and-families,60,0

    Reply
  28. David says:

    Put it this way … Industry Canada relying on studies that $$$ has traded hands … in the millions … ask your self what do you believe and were is the next Milton tower going to go?

    Probably in your back yard.

    Reply
  29. Dr Roberts says:

    David et al,

    I chose not to make a conclusion and to leave that decision to yourself and your readers.

    I only heard about this issue only yesterday. And then out of pure boredom I decided to look into the issue further.

    From reading all the comments I see only two issues;
    1. Cell Tower
    2. Big White Cross

    Cell Tower issue:
    For every report that states cell towers are harmless, there will be three reports that state otherwise. Everybody has the right to choose which report they believe.

    Will any of the letters to MPs or councilors stop the tower’s installation? I can tell you that will be a definite no. But at least you are within your rights to have your voice heard and I applaud you for putting all your efforts into this issue.

    I began reading articles dating back to 2006 from Bell customers complaining about poor service in that exact area. So it is no coincidence that the tower should be placed on that site. A thought came to me, is this issue about the cell tower or about the “Bell” cell tower. It seems to me that if Rogers or (insert your service provider here) were to put up a tower would there be same type of out cry. Would you be willing to leave your service provider in retaliation?

    Also, leave the Daycare (Little Hands) out of this by pulling out your children. I have made enquiries and it turns out that Little Hands only rents place from the church and has been thrown into the middle of this issue. They also have known about the tower long before you received your letters and they have had no effect on changing the minds of the church.

    Big White Cross issue:

    Did you want to start quoting the passages from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? I am going to guess no. Cell tower or no cell tower the church is within its rights to place a 29.9m cross on their property just as you are within your rights to voice an opinion about the tower. Didn’t the home buyers realize when they purchased their homes that it backed on to or faced a Christian church? What did you expect? Plus I remember that church being build 30+ years ago in the middle of a corn field long before the houses where build. If the tower had been installed 30 years ago would the homes still have sold? Definitely!

    One final note before I go and never to return.

    The “eyesore” issue:
    I too had a similar fight 25 years ago when it was proposed by the greedy town council of Milton to bring water up from Lake Ontario to enable the expansion of my quiet little sleepy town that I had grown up in for 40 years. I voiced my opinion loud but it fell on deaf ears. I was informed that my little town of 25,000 was going to explode to over 100,000 in a matter of 20 years. I, along with many other people, fought hard to keep people from Toronto moving here and tried to put a stop to all the development. But as you can see we failed, and the residences of the Clark Blvd/Thompson Rd area are proof of that. Eyesore indeed! Beautiful farmland turned into concrete and asphalt! Thanks!

    So I made a decision. I left!
    This tower is going to be built because there is a demand for it.

    Make your decision with your feet. If you still like Milton just move to another part of town if this tower is such a big issue with you.

    Best of luck
    Retired and living in a quiet small town without a tower.

    Reply
  30. Dr. K Jaques says:

    Dr. Roberts,

    Curious, you did not answer David’s question … what type of doctor are you?

    I have been a practising doctor for 15 years … I have studied cancer and its effects…

    Please see the following article from the World Health Organization:

    http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2011/pdfs/pr208_E.pdf

    “…IARC CLASSIFIES RADIOFREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS AS POSSIBLY CARCINOGENIC TO HUMANS
    Lyon, France, May 31, 2011 ‐‐ The WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma …”

    So, to answer your question – if this tower goes up, I will be looking for a new home. I don’t want to risk exposing my kids to something we still know so little about.

    As previously pointed out in prior discussions – years ago asbestos was considered safe – we regret that assumption now don’t we?

    Reply
  31. Karen says:

    Thanks Dr Jaques for providing Dr Roberts with the third report against the tower he was looking for.
    I could careless even if he was a dentist. He is a person with an opinion.

    I noticed in your report the word “possibly”.
    Still using your Microwave “possibly” harmful to humans.
    Still drinking your coffee in the morning “possibly” harmful to humans.
    Still eating the GM food at Metro “possibly” harmful to humans
    Still driving to work in your fossil fuel polluting car “possibly” harmful to the ozone.
    etc,etc,etc
    Why don’t we all throw our cell phones in the garage and be done with it.

    Reply
  32. David says:

    I suspect the World Health Organization is using the word “possibly” … just like they did for 50 years when second hand smoking “possibly” caused cancer.

    Further research must be undertaken to confirm … but based on current research there is enough data available to confirm there are heath issues. Sadly, we will not know the full extent for many years!

    Reply
  33. David says:

    When I first got notified about this I did not fully appreciate the health risks and I got side tracked with the “eye sore” factor …

    Now I fully understand what this thing is and how dangerous it can be … I could not care what form it takes.

    Reply
  34. John says:

    I have lived in Milton for 15 years… I can clearly tell you that the church was here long before I was and had a cross on its roof the day I arrived. The people bought new houses in an existing environment so they knew or should have had the intelligence to look before they bought. Large numbers of people support what that church does for children and teens. Their entire program in their gym does not cost the taxpayers one cent. They provide many community services that could not happen if the building was not there.

    Clearly, these are people who have come into town because they liked what they saw better than what they had before and as soon as they got here they want to change Milton to be more like what they left… then they will be unhappy with what they have made it into.

    Churches have been putting crosses high above their buildings for 100′s of years, this is not a new idea… It is their land and they were here first.

    Reply
  35. Dr. K. Jaques says:

    John,
    We really don’t care what shape the tower is – the health risks to our kids are the priority. Cell towers have no place near kids, regardless of who was here first.

    Reply
  36. Cliff says:

    Hello,

    If you are against this tower going up in our community, please visit our Facebook page Milton (Ontario) Residents Against Cell Phone Towers, main page: No Cell Towers In Milton. As well, please sign the online petition @ https://www.change.org/petitions/bell-mobilty-via-altus-group-town-of-milton-milton-council-stop-building-cell-phone-towers-in-residential-areas-in-milton

    A large group of concerned residents are banding together to appose and STOP the construction of this Cell Tower. Please feel free to send an email to nocelltowersinmilton@gmail.com and we will be happy to provide you with additional information.

    YOUR COMMENTS COUNT
    Please send all comments to:

    Altus Group
    33 Yonge Street 5th Floor
    Toronto ON M5E 1G4
    Attn: Morteza Alabaf
    Email: comments.agi@altusgroup.com
    Fax 416-204-1200

    PLEASE ATTEND THE MEETING ON:
    April 12th at 7pm at the Milton Leisure Centre

    Thank you.

    Reply
  37. David says:

    John,

    Catch up … no one cares about the shape anymore …

    Brazil study on Cell Towers: it was carried out over a ten year period Involved 4 government agencies, 4 Universities and 1 medical health agency

    Cancer deaths reported:
    Within 100 meters = 3,569 deaths
    100 to 200 meters = 1,408 deaths
    200 to 300 meters = 973 deaths
    300 to 400 meters = 482 deaths
    400 to 500 meters = 292 deaths
    Total deaths within 500 meters = 6,724

    Beyond 1000 meters = 147 deaths

    Within a 400 metre radius cancer rate is 43 times higher than beyond 1000 metres.

    The Precautionary Principle was adapted by all the scientists present.

    Reply
  38. Ram says:

    RF radiation is non ionizing, it cant cause cancer! Long before the introduction of cell phone and towers we were being bombarded with RF and nobody seemed to care. Think about it, take a simple transistor radio and turn it on anywhere in the world and you’re bound to pick up some kind of signal. Guess what, that signal is RF, the same RF that is generated from cell towers but much stronger. Turn on the radio in your car or truck if you have signal you’re being bombarded with RF – It does nothing to you! The suns rays are 1 trillion times more dangerous to you and your family. So when I see uneducated people protesting crying and reading statements on how harmful or deadly cell towers are I have to laugh at their complete ignorance. I could see not wanting one near you if it obstructed your breathtaking view as they aren’t the sexiest looking things, but to make statements like I will and my children will die of cancer because a cell tower is close by is ludicrous.If I was Bell I would shut down the network in your community for 2 weeks to penalize you for your stupidity.

    Reply

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