The regulation and approval of radiocommunication towers, antennas and related facilities falls under federal jurisdiction and is governed by the Radiocommunication Act administered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).
Under the authority of the Radiocommunication Act, the ISED developed the Client Procedure Circular CPC-2-0-03 to outline development and licensing requirements for proposed telecommunication facilities. To ensure local compatibility, the ISED requires proponents to obtain Municipal Concurrence and to engage in both municipal and public consultation.
The Township of Puslinch has implemented the Radiocommunication Tower and Antenna Protocol Policy to provide guidance on the municipal approval process for telecommunication towers and antennas.
A Pre-consultation Meeting between the applicant, municipality, and other designated authorities shall be required prior to the acceptance of a Formal Application.
Pre-Consultation Meeting Request
The purpose of the Pre-consultation Meeting shall be to identify the information and materials necessary for the processing of an application, which shall be submitted before an application is deemed complete.
The following information is to be submitted as part of the Pre-consultation Meeting Request:
- Confirmation from all registered property owners in the form of an authorization to support the proposed telecommunications facility on the property.
- The location of the proposed telecommunications facility, including the municipal address and a map identifying where it is to be situation on the subject property
- An outline of the proposed telecommunications facility and, if applicable, how it meets one of the exclusion criteria.
- Set of drawings illustrating the proposal, including a conceptual site plan, elevation drawings, and context plan showing the development within the existing neighbourhood (which can be supplied using an aerial photograph base).
- Documentation of co-location alternatives considered within a 3 kilometre radius of the proposed site using the National Antenna Information Database to identify candidates and a statement on future co-location possibilities for the support structure.
Note: The Pre-consultation Meeting, and any preceding discussions with the municipality, are not counted towards the 120-day consultation period identified by the ISED. The 120-day consultation period shall not commence until the application is deemed complete.
Commonly Asked Questions
When is Municipal Approval Not Required?
- New Antenna Systems within a height less than 15 metres above ground level provided the antenna system is not proposed by a telecommunication carrier, broadcasting undertaking or third-party tower owner.
- Non-tower structures including antennas on buildings, water towers, lamp posts, etc., may be excluded provided that the height above ground is not increased by more than 25%.
- Temporary antenna systems used for special events or emergency operations, provided they are removed within a three-month timeframe.
- Routine maintenance of existing telecommunication towers, antennas or related facilities.
- Transfer of Concurrence is not exempt from the Township’s Pre-consultation process, however, may be excluded from obtaining Municipal Concurrence through a formal application process, subject to the Pre-consultation submissions and findings.
Height is measured from the lowest ground level at the base, including the foundation, to the tallest point of the antenna system. Depending on the installation, the tallest point may be an antenna, lightning rod, aviation obstruction lighting or some other appearance.
Notwithstanding the above, applicants are still required to contact the Township at firstname.lastname@example.org if the proposal falls under the exclusion criteria to confirm and obtain written confirmation with the Township, which can then be provided to the ISED.
What are the Requirements for Site Selection?
The proponent shall be encouraged to use existing and/or approved structures wherever possible. This includes sharing an existing or approved telecommunication tower, antenna or related facility, modifying existing structures, and using existing infrastructure such as rooftops, water towers, etc.
Where co-location is not possible, when selecting a site for a new telecommunication tower, the following shall be taken into consideration:
- Maximizing the distance from residential areas.
- Distance from public and institutional facilities such as schools, hospitals, community centre, daycare facilities, and senior’s residences.
- Avoidance of natural features, vegetation, hazard lands (floodplains, steep slopes).
- Avoiding areas of topological prominence, where possible, to minimize long/short range viewscapes.
- Compatibility with adjacent land uses.
What are the Design Standards?
Structures shall be designed to minimize visual impact and to avoid disturbance of significant natural features by:
- Selecting a type and colouring of structure that blends in with the surroundings.
- Providing landscaping and visual screening where appropriate.
- Incorporating safety features to prevent unauthorized access.
- Designing towers and any accessory base stations so that they fit into the context of the surrounding area.
- Implementing tower designs that mimic other features customarily found in that area, such as trees or flagpoles, where appropriate.
- Ensuring towers only accommodate telecommunication facilities and that there are no signed or other materials apart from that which is required by the ISED or for safety or identification purposes (e.g. small plaque at the base of the tower), as deemed appropriate by the Township or other authority.
Will I be Notified of an Application?
Notice of a formal application will be provided by regular mail to all property owners located within a radius of three times the tower height, to a minimum of 120 metres, measured from the outside perimeter of the supporting structure.
An advertisement will be posted in the local newspaper and there will be posting of signage on the subject property.
Can I comment on an application?
The public shall be provided with a minimum of 30 days, from the date of the notice, to submit written or verbal comments, including questions and concerns.
More information is provided in section 8.3 of the Radiocommunication Tower and Antenna Protocol Policy.
Submitting an Application
Before submitting a Radiocommunication Tower Application, please make sure you have prepared the necessary submission materials identified in the Township’s Radiocommunication Tower and Antenna Protocol Policy, and have went through the mandatory Pre-consultation process.