New Communications Tower YES, but not in the Parking Lot.

Placing a giant tower and the necessary car barriers and fencing in the parking lot’s centre would be an unnatural industrial sight for those morning hikers reaching what should be a stunning natural view.

Click here for View One. Click here for View Two.
  • PKOLS – Mount Douglas Society supports the replacement of the tower, but in the original location, East Summit, where it does not impact the enjoyment of the park’s natural beauty.
  • There is no cost to the taxpayer as revenue from cell phone companies has been placed in a replacement fund over the last 34 years to replace the tower.
  • The new tower will not likely improve 5G, which relies on micro towers with a very small range.
  • The cost evaluations of options A and G appear flawed, and A is likely the cheapest.
  • There is a safe place to replace the tower next to the old one without damaging any park plants or trees.

What Expenses Should Not Have Been Included in the Option “A”

Our society supports Option “A” on the East Summit beside the existing tower. The costing handed out by Saanich employees for this site, proposed a road to build the tower rather than a crane. The society has consulted with crane operators who have installed these towers, and an on-site visit confirmed this could be done with existing equipment from Vancouver Island with no damage to trees or plants. Once you remove this requirement and use a wood platform for worker safety, it becomes cheaper than option “G.”

What expenses are Missing from Option “G”? ($100k +)

Option “G,” proposed by Saanich, includes a parking lot expansion, additional fencing, landscaping, removal of rock, trenching, and reengineering and paving of the parking lot. Since this is needed to accommodate the tower, this cost should have been included in Option “G.” 

An industry estimate for asphalt paving, curb and stall painting, minor grinding needed, and base gravel in currently unpaved areas is $100k. This must be included in the Opt G price.

Entry Points for Tower Cables to Transmission Building

Option “G” and “A” can enter the building within a few feet of each other. Option G means trenching the parking lot, and option A is a simple conduit from the South Summit near the existing conduit.

There is lots of room for the New Tower on the East Summit

Yes, there is adequate space in an area where no at-risk plants exist. The tower would be hidden behind a tree canopy, the parking lot would not be disturbed, and no blasting would be required to route the new cables to the transmission building (currently, the conduit runs from the existing tower down the building and is covered by rock).

Saanich has no requirement to camouflage cell towers

Most cities have bylaws that require camouflaging of all cell towers, to reduce their negative visual impact on communities. In the North West, for example, they are disguised as fir trees in the desert as palm trees, as seen in the illustrations below.

What tower locations were considered?

On April 4th, 2024, a document was handed out that suggested seven locations were considered. Location or option “A” was our preferred position on the East summit and what was specified in the RFP. Locations B through F were not viable for technical issues or damage to protected plants. The final location, “G,” was costed in the parking lot.