Pickering Unrings Bell

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When Bell Mobility posted notices announcing plans to construct two cell towers in the Ontario, Canada community of Pickering, concerned citizens took notice. As DurhamRegion.com reports, residents swung into action, circulating petitions and knocking on doors to rally residents to join them in opposing the cell towers.

A newly circulated staff report from the city council of the City of Pickering confirms that the residents’ voices were heard. Both cell tower proposals were rejected. The report notes that the plans “do not meet the requirements of the city’s cell tower protocol with respect to design and location and will have a significant visual impact on the immediate area.” 

“I’m very happy that the city of Pickering did listen,” said resident Kiri Konalingam, “Especially the councillors because we know they have a role to play in it. If we weren’t a community that wasn’t close, that really didn’t talk to each other, I don’t think this would have happened,” she added.

While united voices drew attention to the cell tower proposals, a unique situation may have helped tip the scales in the residents’ favor. An old gas pipeline near the proposed Foxtail Green location suggested a possible danger beyond the more typical concerns of aesthetic blight and phantom EMF health risks. In its report, the city concluded “the Trans-Northern Pipeline has stated that the location of the proposed tower at Foxtail Green poses a direct threat to the safe operation of the pipeline.”

The second 65-foot tower proposed for Rick Johnson Memorial Park, reported DurhamRegion.com, was also rejected under the general banner of “does not meet criteria.” It is not known at this time whether Bell Mobility and contractor Fontur International, Inc. plan to submit a revised proposal for the towers.

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