Proposed New Tower on PKOLS Problematic

Saanich is planning to erect a taller tower well into the current parking lot. This is to replace the tower you see on the left. The image below, drawn to scale, would show the tower dominating the approach, blocking multiple parking spots, and interfering with the approach to the view platform. In addition, moving the tower down from its current spot would mean it would have to be considerably more significant than the current tower. Aesthetically, it would create a worse blot on the pristine natural park than the current tower, which is sequestered behind a blind of trees. Replacing the tower next to the existing tower would mean a smaller tower, which would be much cheaper.

Currently, there is no public consultation with interested groups and much of the information being offered in the newspaper by Saanich is inaccurate. Given that this is the largest protected natural park in Saanich, public consultation is essential.

Protecting designated natural park areas from cell tower protrusions is an issue across Canada. In the Niagra Escarpment Plan the following protections are in place, these are similar to what Saanich Council has put in place for the existing tower.

The role of the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) is to uphold the purpose of the
Niagara Escarpment Plan, which is to maintain the Niagara Escarpment and lands in its
vicinity substantially as a continuous natural environment, and to ensure that only such
development occurs as is compatible with that natural environment. The objectives of
the Plan include maintaining and enhancing the open landscape character of the
Niagara Escarpment by preserving the natural scenery, and protecting unique
ecological and historic areas. In order to fulfil these objectives, the NEC must assess
the visual and environmental impact of any development proposal within the Niagara
Escarpment Plan (NEP) Area.
Given the prominence of radiocommunication towers and antennas on the landscape,
the NEC expects a proponent to take all reasonable steps to avoid the NEP Area.
Where this is not possible, the proponent should minimize the visual impacts on the
Escarpment’s attractive features, scenery.

We will send updates as we receive more information using our membership lists.

This image illustrates the location and size of the tower as you approach the parking lot from the PKOLs – Mt. Douglas Challenge.
This is the information published in the local paper by Saanich, which has inaccurate information. The red lines indicate the error.
This would be the likely actual placement when the error is corrected. Given that it is the parking lot and subject to vehicle accidents, significant barriers would be required around the tower to prevent vehicle damage and unauthorized access.
This is a close-up of the image above. Clearly, this location will impede a lot of parking spaces, use by individuals who have mobility issues and wish to access the top of the park.
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