Councillor takes on tower

Some Purcell’s Cove residents are sending the message that they don’t want a cellphone tower in their backyard.

Some Purcell’s Cove residents are sending the message that they don’t want a cellphone tower in their backyard.

The proposed tower from Rogers Communications Inc., to be built adjacent to 451 Purcell's Cove Rd., is meant to replace an existing tower on top of Fenwick Tower. Rogers must vacate Fenwick Tower by March 31 to accommodate the building’s re-development.

But Purcell’s Cove-Armdale Coun. Linda Mosher wants Halifax regional council to contact the owners of Fenwick Tower, Templeton Properties, to request an extension to Rogers’ contract to avoid the “rapid” construction of the Purcell’s Cove tower.

She presented a petition last night signed by 87 people who own land near the proposed tower, asking council to reject the project.

Mosher said the area is designated as an “urban reserve” in HRM’s Regional Plan, meaning the land cannot be developed for 25 years.

“We felt it was so important to keep (the area) in a natural state. We are not allowing development,” Mosher said after council ended last night. “There’s barrens, there’s water courses ... so I got an answer from staff that the area is designated urban reserve, it does not permit a telecommunications tower by right.

“So I find this very frustrating.”

The final decision on land use, however, rests with Industry Canada and not council. Federal regulations dictate the municipality must be consulted, but can only comment on aesthetic issues, according to Mosher.

“At the end of the day, it’s Industry Canada,” she said.

Residents at a Chebucto community council meeting on Monday night were open to compromise, according to Mosher. She said if the tower had to be erected there, residents would prefer it be put further back away from Purcell’s Cove Road.

But Mosher said Rogers wasn’t open to the idea, citing the area as a wetland.