October 12, 2011 - Minutes

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City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

Development Permit Panel

Wednesday, October 12, 2011



3:30 p.m.


Council Chambers

Richmond City Hall


Joe Erceg, Chair

Cathryn Volkering Carlile, General Manager, Community Services

Dave Semple, General Manager, Parks and Recreation

The meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m.





It was moved and seconded


That the minutes of the meeting of the Development Permit Panel held on Wednesday, September 14, 2011, be adopted.





Development Variance Permit DV 11-565153
(File Ref. No.: 
DV 11-565153) (REDMS No. 3355558)



Standard Land Company Inc.




16300 River Road






To vary the provisions of Richmond Zoning Bylaw 8500 to increase the maximum accessory structure height of “Light Industrial (IL)” from 20 m (66 ft.) to 45 m (148 ft.), in order to permit the construction of a telecommunication antenna tower at 16300 River Road.



Applicant’s Comments


Chad Marlatt, Standard Land Company Inc., on behalf of Telus Corp., provided background information and drew the Panel’s attention to the following details:



the lot at 16300 River Road, the site of the proposed new telecommunication antenna tower, is zoned “Light Industrial”, and is long and narrow;



surrounding the subject site is River Road to the north, a vacant property to the east, another property zoned “Light Industrial” to the west, and a rail line to the south;



the proposed tower is deliberately located at the southwest corner of the subject site,  275 metres from River Road (to the north) and 275 metres from No. 7 Road to the east;



the applicant first examined an opportunity to co-locate the antennae with existing structures, but did not find any suitable structures;



the proposed tower would allow the applicant improve wireless service in an area that is currently underserviced by wireless technology;



the tower’s design is a fairly simple lattice self-support structure, which offers optimal stability, with a degree of necessary flexibility, set within a fenced compound that measures 20 metres by 20 metres, accessed from River Road along the East property line;



a future road is intended to be aligned close to the south edge of the site and the existing rail bed, and the tower, and fenced compound surrounding it, are setback 25 metres from this property line;



the design of the tower allows for the easiest type of upgrade, and the proposed 45 metre height of the proposed tower allows for accommodation at the top of the tower of transmission equipment for Telus Corp., Rogers, and Mobilicity, three entities that are cooperating in this venture;



the visibility of a tower of the proposed height of 45 metres is largely reduced due to its setbacks from surrounding properties; and



the fence surrounding the compound will be a Cedar fence, and will screen the base of the structure.



Panel Discussion


The Chair noted that: (i) the application put the Panel in a difficult position, since Council had, in 2009, directed staff to revise and redraft the City’s Telecommunication Antenna Consultation and Siting Policy; and (ii) staff is still involved the revision/redraft process.


The Chair further noted that the amount of public notification and consultation undertaken by the applicant did not meet the notification/consultation requirement as outlined in the City’s Telecommunication Antenna Consultation and Siting Policy at the time it was referred to staff for revision/redraft.


In light of his comments, the Chair queried why the application was bringing the application forward at this time, instead of after the spring, 2012, the time when Council is expected to review staff’s work on the Policy.


In response, Mr. Marlatt, replied that: (i) it is important to Telus Corp., as well as the other entities involved in the tower, to improve wireless service where Telus has poor coverage; and (ii) Telus Corp. is not certain when the revised/redrafted Policy will be approved by Council.


In response to the Chair’s query regarding the consequences to the applicant, if the application was delayed, Mr. Marlatt advised continuation of the existing poor services to Telus Corp. customers would be the result of such a delay.


Discussion continued between the Panel and Mr. Marlatt, during which the following information was provided:



the request for the height increase of 25 metres is motivated by a desire for wireless coverage and to accommodate more than one company;



for aesthetic purposes the proposed tower is set far back from River Road to reduce visibility of the structure, and the tower’s lattice work will, at the base, be screened by a Cedar fence; and



properties to the east and west of the subject site are both zoned Light Industrial.


The Chair commented that the intent of the future road is to accommodate industrial traffic, and when the future road is operational, the proposed tower will be setback from River Road, but will be sited close to the future road.



Staff Comments


Wayne Craig, Program Coordinator of Development, stated that staff reviewed the applicant’s proposal against the draft Telecommunication Antenna Consultation and Siting Protocol policy presented to Council in 2009 in light of the fact that, at present, the City does not have a draft protocol for siting telecommunications towers. the applicant did undertake a consultation process in keeping with Industry Canada requirements in March and April of 2011.


In response to Panel queries, Mr. Craig advised that: (i) the application has been reviewed by Transport Canada/NAV Canada for aeronautical safety, and there are no restrictions; and (ii) the applicant’s consultation process resulted in one comment from the neighbouring property owner to the east, at 16360 River Road, who made remarks pertaining to health impacts, as well as installation impacts of the proposed tower. Mr. Craig added that the property owners passed along related information to neighbouring property owners regarding Federal guidelines for telecommunication installations.



Gallery Comments


Mike Petrich, 16360 River Road stated two concerns: (i) that the tower was too high; and (ii) concern for his safety. He noted that he had called and written to Telus Corp. to express his safety concerns, and had received assurance from Telus that the proposed tower was safe.








Panel Discussion


Discussion ensued with regard to the expansion capacity for telecommunications towers, and Mr. Marlatt advised that: (i) future capacity for the addition of other antennas to be added to towers is part of the current tower design; (ii) any additional antennas would be required to operate in a safe manner; and (iii) the radio frequency exposure of the proposed tower is thousands of times below the safety limits established by Health Canada.


In response to a further query, Mr. Craig advised that there is no time limit restriction on an applicant who, for any reason, has to re-submit an application.


The Chair stated that he was not willing to support the application at this time, believing that it would present a difficult issue if the application went forward to Council for approval before Council had the opportunity to review the forthcoming draft Telecommunication Antenna Consultation and Protocol Policy. He commented that the Policy, and especially the consultation component, should be adopted by Council, before the application came back to the Panel for consideration.


The Chair further stated that the applicant had not proven the need for the 25-metre variance, nor had the applicant convinced the Panel that the tower’s proposed height of 45 metres would translate into better service and wider coverage for wireless clients.


The Chair also stated concern regarding the aesthetics of the application, and noted that in the future the site of the proposed tower would be far from River Road, but within 5 metres of the future road at the south end of the subject site. He added that there has not been any new analysis of the proposed structure, and the applicant has not proposed any mitigation measures.


As a result of the discussion the following motion was introduced:


It was moved and seconded


That the application for a Development Variance Permit by Standard Land Company Inc., in order to permit the construction of a telecommunication antenna tower at 16300 River Road, be referred back to staff for:



future consideration following Council's consideration of a forthcoming staff report on a Telecommunication Antenna Consultation and Siting Policy; 



view and visibility analysis of the proposed telecommunication antenna tower;



a review of the materials, colours, and finishing proposed for the telecommunication antenna tower; and



further rationale for the requested 45-metre height of the telecommunication antenna tower.








New Business





Date Of Next Meeting: Wednesday, October 26, 2011





It was moved and seconded


That the meeting be adjourned at 3:59 p.m.





Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the Development Permit Panel of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Wednesday, October 12, 2011.



Joe Erceg


Sheila Johnston

Committee Clerk