Who Approves the Location of Cell Towers?
- Telecommunications is vital to the national economy and security and is thus the jurisdiction of the Federal Government.
- Cell tower locations are approved by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISEDC for short, formerly Industry Canada).
- Cell tower locations are not approved by the local municipality. In June 2016 the Supreme Court of Canada re-affirmed that municipal governments have no jurisdiction in the approval of cell tower locations.
Does the City Have Any Input?
- Yes, it does. ISEDC requires cell tower proponents to consult with a municipality to discuss site options and constraints. See section 4.1 of the Radio Communication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems.
- If the City is the owner of the land where a cell tower is proposed it can also impose conditions on the development of the cell tower through the lease agreement.
- The Planning and Development Services Department acts as the primary contact for cell companies wanting to place a new tower (most cell companies engage a land agent to assist them).
- If there is no technical impediment with the proposed location we stamp the submitted drawings “Reviewed” (sometimes with added comments) and return them to the proponent. In accordance with section 4.3 of Radio Communication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems this is our preferred method of concluding Land Use Authority consultation.
Do Citizens Have A Say?
- Yes, they do. ISEDC requires cell tower proponents to notify and respond to a portion of the neighbourhood surrounding a proposed location. See section 4.2 of the Radio Communication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems.
- The Planning and Development Services Department recommends the proponent use the ISEDC Default Public Consultation Process. See Appendix 1 of the Radio Communication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems. Planning and Development Services does not participate in the proponent's notification process.
For more information about cell tower locations, contact:
Planning and Design at 403-320-3920 or firstname.lastname@example.org
910 4 Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB T1J 0P6
or 403-320-3111 (if outside of Lethbridge)