Freedom Mobile Proposed Tower at the Rocky Ridge Ranch Homeowners Association

RRROCA was not notified directly by the proponents of the telecommunications tower however we did receive a number of emails from concerned residents. As a result, we have been scrambling to find out more about the entire process including public engagement requirements, details about the proposal, and which agencies have jurisdiction and are responsible for approvals.

We have spoken to our Neighbourhood Partnership Coordinator, the City of Calgary expert on telecommunication towers, and corresponded with Councillor Sutherland’s office and the office of Pat Kelly, MP. As a background to this proposal, The City of Calgary has written policies and requirements that govern antennas (telecommunication towers) on municipal property. RRRHA property is not municipal property, however Freedom Mobile has been following the policies and guidelines, including siting and public engagement.

It is important to know that the Federal Government, specifically Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) is the agency that reviews the proposals and determines that all the requirements have been met, such as a review of alternate locations, health issues, height requirements, setbacks from schools and residential buildings, comments from the City, and other technical information. Ultimately this agency has the authority to approve or reject a proposed tower.

The City of Calgary Planning Group is involved in the approvals process. Freedom is obligated to submit a Development Permit application which will be circulated to all stakeholders in the community. The public engagement is a part of this submission. All information presented to the public, and all documentation of questions and concerns received online, by phone, letters or emails, plus Freedom’s responses to those questions must be included in the permit application. The process also includes all other Development Permit requirements such as notifications and advertising. If the City of Calgary determines that there are outstanding issues or reasonable concerns not addressed, they will notify ISED of “non-concurrence” and not approve the Development Permit. The ISED must then rule that either the non-concurrence is valid, and Freedom would need to something different, or that the proposal can be approved to proceed through to construction.

Note that the City and ISED will consider all “reasonable” objections and concerns. Health Canada sets safety limits for