Amabile Ranta is worried about possible cellphone tower on nearby farm. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

Maple Ridge resident worried about new cell tower

45-metre structure planned for nearby farm

Amabile Ranta is worried about a proposal to put 45-metre cellphone tower on a dairy farm on 128th Avenue, near her home in central Maple Ridge.

Ranta lives across a field from where the tower would go, is a cancer survivor and is concerned about possible health effects. She plans to start a petition against the tower.

That was to start on Tuesday and would include both a paper petition and an online campaign.

Rogers Communications is proposing the structure at 22080 – 128th Ave., to improve service in the north Maple Ridge area and is hosting a June 19 public meeting on the topic at Maple Ridge Alliance Church, 20399 Dewdney Trunk Rd., starting at 5:30 p.m.

In a notice to residents who live within 300 metres of the proposed tower, Rogers says there are no other structures in the area which could support an antenna. The company’s also invited Telus and Freedom Mobile to co-locate on the tower in order to spare another cellphone tower having to be put up. It also notes that the tower will be located behind the barns in order to reduce visual impact.

Ranta acknowledges cellphone towers are now common.

“But that is so close to us. They’re not so close to a residential area as we are.”

She also says it could reduce her property value by 20 per cent.

While the City of Maple Ridge can make a recommendation about such a project, the federal department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada will make the final decision.

The notice also states that the tower will comply with Health Canada’s Safety Code 6, which sets exposure limits for electromagnetic fields.

Residents have until July 5 to respond, with copies of those comments also going to the city.

The City of Maple Ridge has created a Telecommunication Antenna Structure Siting Protocol, which allows the city to support or reject any particular proposal, although it doesn’t have the final say about whether a tower is built.

The policy also recommends that towers that are 45 metres in height be located at least 100 metres away from homes.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

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