On March 17, 2008, the Township of Scugog adopted a new Radiocommunication Antenna System Siting Policy (otherwise known as “telecommunication towers”). The policy defines a local process for providing input into siting proposals and provides a consistent procedure for proponents that meets the 120 day timeframe defined by Industry Canada. A minor amendment to the policy was made on September 29, 2008.
The Township levies a fee on all new telecommunication tower applications at the rate charged for “Other than Residential or Commercial” site plan applications in the Township’s Planning Fees By-Law No. 44-07. The application fee is currently $1,500.00.
The current building permit fee for telecommunication facility construction is $150.00, as defined in the Township’s Building By-Law No. 82-05.
Both fees are subject to change.
The Regulation of Telecommunication Towers
Under the Federal Radiocommunications Act, Industry Canada is responsible for regulating and licensing the installation of telecommunication towers. Under this Act, companies wishing to install new antenna systems (mast, towers and other supporting structures) are only required to “consult” with the municipal land use authority (LUA) prior to construction. Tower installation is not subject to local zoning by-laws.
In 2007, Industry Canada completed a review of its National Antenna Tower Policy and issued new procedures for siting radiocommunication antennae effective January 1, 2008. More information on the antennae siting procedures and regulations is available from the Industry Canada website.
Under the procedure, proponents of telecommunication tower installations are required to:
- Investigate sharing or using existing infrastructure before proposing new antenna supporting structures;
- Contact LUAs to determine local requirements regarding antenna system installations;
- Undertake LUAs and public consultation as required; and
- Satisfy Industry Canada's general and technical requirements.
Industry Canada has excluded proponents from the local consultation requirements for certain types of installations they felt would have minimal impact. These include:
- Maintenance of existing antenna systems;
- Addition or modification to an existing antenna system for height increases less than 25% of the original height;
- Temporary and emergency installations; and
- New antenna systems less than 15m in height.
Proponents must follow the consultation process established by the LUA where one exists. The local process is laid out in the Township’s policy.