Open letter to the Regional District of Central Kootenay board of directors regarding the antenna siting protocol (see related story):
I write today to voice my strong and emphatic support for the presentation that came before you on May 16 regarding the question of whether the RDCK will adopt a procedure to govern the approval of locations or sites for cell phone towers on private land in the district.
My concern is for the whole of the RDCK but is specific to the southern part of Area H, the Slocan river valley.
I was dismayed that you took a vote on April 11 without having heard from residents on this issue, a vote in which you granted Telus unfettered privilege for locating such towers.
I find that action to not only be egregious but a gross and needless violation of the long history and tradition of public participation in development initiatives and community planning in Area H. The excuse that this vote was taken because there are applications for tower sites pending in your planning department does not square with your duty to serve the public interest. You knew these applications were coming and should have prepared to deal with them in an appropriate manner, instead of just rubber stamping approvals.
The presentation you received on May 16 has given you an opportunity to correct this injustice and do the right thing by adopting the process in this presentation.
It’s absolutely ridiculous to think local government would offer or provide a corporate entity the right to freely invade our communities and locate communications towers in them that will be up to 165 feet in height and do so at its own discretion, without regard to the many very real concerns your constituents have in this matter.
I need not remind you that you work for the public, not the corporate world and that your duty is to serve the public, not corporate interests.
Many residents and business owners in Area H believe with good reason that if the locations of these installations are left unregulated they will have a negative impact on their physical and emotional wellbeing… while limiting or even obviating the economic opportunities that the Slocan Valley’s reputation as an environmentally healthful and pastoral destination present to them.
The time has come for you to do your job. Study the attending materials given to you on May 16 and do the right thing by adopting a procedure in which the public can participate in decisions that will affect their communities for decades to come.
If you value your reputation as a responsible body of local government, you will do no less.