By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 2:47:21 PDT PM

Residents elected not to phone in their complaints and showed up at Vancouver city council Tuesday to protest a cell tower being constructed in their neighbourhood. About 20 people assembled in front of city hall with placards, then moved inside for the opening of the regular council meeting.

The residents are trying to stop a cell tower from going in behind a strip mall at 49th Avenue and Oak Street — something the residents only found out about earlier this year. Kevin Hart represents the group and said the main concerns are unknown health effects and the process under which the tower was approved. “They started building, the neighbours started asking questions,” said Hart. “After we started asking questions we finally got a letter from Telus to tell us what they are doing.” Coun. Adriane Carr put forth a motion at council Tuesday to change cell tower regulations in the city and make them more stringent.

Part of the motion would require public consultation for any tower, not just those taller than 15 metres – the tower in question measures 14.9 metres. Carr’s motion also suggests radio frequency emissions standards be 100 times below levels set out in Health Canada’s Safety Code Six. Hart said even with the proposed changes he hasn’t been able to get any information from the city to indicate it’s looking for other solutions for cell towers in the Vancouver. “City hall is pretty clear that their mandate is to increase cellular coverage for the city at all costs,” said Hart. “Without respect for the people who are paying the taxes in the city.” Carr’s motion was referred to staff.,23,3238