Langley Times – News

    By Natasha Jones – Langley Times

    Published: April 21, 2011 1:00 PM

    Updated: April 21, 2011 4:00 PM

    Residents who opposed a cell phone tower in their rural east Murrayville neighbourhood had the backing of Township council, which refused to endorse Bell Mobility’s plan to erect a 164-foot monopole in both 2007 and 2008.

    Thus it came as a shock when earth-moving equipment was brought in last month to clear land at 23537  40 Ave., less than 100 feet from Lisa Grover’s home.

    In a letter to council, Grover pleaded for help.

    “Words can’t express my anger and I am at a loss of how to proceed,” she wrote. “Please, please help us with this situation.”

    It appears that despite residents’ objections and council’s refusal to endorse the tower applications, Industry Canada has given Bell the go-ahead.

    After it objected to the initial application in 2007, council urged Bell to look for another location. According to a staff report which council received this week, Bell investigated other sites but opted to submit a new application for the same site, with revised height and design.

    That plan came before council in 2008 and was also not supported.

    When they appeared before council, residents expressed concerns about the height of the towers, impact on property values and potential health problems.

    Imre Szabo, who owns 20 acres just east of the cell tower location,  gave council a written warning that came with his cell phone, advising against prolonged use.

    Szabo, who owns a 20-acre property just east of the cell tower, said he is concerned about the potential for cancer caused by microwave radiation. He said that the health of not only humans, but animals, could suffer.

    “It is a very bad idea,” he said in 2007.

    Lee Johnson, a resident in the 23300-block Old Yale Road, had spent four years working on his property, particularly his back yard where trees would block out the only visible structure, a neighbour’s home.

    But the tower would loom over his back yard, and all the equipment on the tower would be visible.

    Grover told council the base of the tower would be just 100 feet from her house.

    “I don’t understand why this is (proposed) there,” Grover told council.

    “If they don’t allow it (cell communication equipment) at schools, why do they allow it at my house?” Grover asked.

    On Monday, the latest information was not discussed.