I know many Quadra Islanders and their visitors enjoy hiking.
This letter is to alert you to the proposal by North Island Communications to put a cell tower on Heriot Ridge. There are several important points about this location that everyone needs to be aware of.
1. The proposed site is EXACTLY ON THE DESTINATION VIEWPOINT for the Hopespring Trail. This trail is arguably the most visited trail on the island, excepting the Park at Rebecca Spit. A 15-20 minute walk takes you to important views North and East over the Coastal Mountains and Outer Islands, and South and West over the Passage to Campbell River. If a local wants to take their visitors for a look around, this is where they go. It is an easy and a short walk which young and old can manage. It is also a trail where many locals come repeatedly for fitness, respite, peace, and solitude. Plunking a cell tower here would have a catastrophic effect on the users of this trail.
2. This proposed site is close to populated neighbourhoods and the community of Heriot Bay. For any one concerned about cell tower radiation this location is too close.
3. This proposed site is directly in the flight path of half a dozen companies that fly helicopters or float planes to the Outer Discovery Islands and Mainland Coastal Inlets. A light would probably need to be installed, another detriment to the visual landscape.
4. This proposal doesn't appear to be in compliance with the bylaws of the Strathcona Regional District, in particular a) c) and d).
Strathcona Regional District Bylaw No. 1213 (Quadra Island Zoning Bylaw), Subsection 11.25.3, is devoted wholly to the subject of communication towers. The subsection reads as follows:
11.25.3 CONDITIONS OF USE
a) The maximum height of the communication tower shall not exceed 12 metres (39.5 feet) above natural average grade;
b) A maximum of one tower is permitted per legal parcel of land;
c) The tower and equipment must be as unobtrusive as possible using natural materials and/or colours to decrease visual impacts;
d) The tower must be placed in the most unobtrusive location;
e) The footprint of the tower and buildings are to be as small as possible; and
f) No lights be installed unless required by federal regulation.
5. This proposed location is in the centre of an area which has seen some controversy in the past. As a result this area was given special reserve status by the government in about 1996. Some of the concerns that were addressed by the Ministry at that time include: [Excerpts from letter signed by about 54 community landowning residents around Heriot Ridge]
The Trail represents biological, physical, and visual features that attract and sustain recreational use...
The protection of... nesting birds, and bird hunting sites... [These bluffs are prime nesting and hunting grounds for the Nighthawk, a bird sensitive to intrusion and disruption].
The preservation of views to and from the ridges and bluffs in all directions...
Respect should be given to those areas considered for future recreational use in Quadra Island's 20 year community plan...
6. I don't believe the proponent of this cell tower, North Island Communications, would consider the expense and trouble of a tower just for the Amateur Radio Society, the City of Campbell River, North Island 911, and the RCMP. Not unless they had a lucrative tenant, such as Bell, or Telus. These tenants would require a powerline and possibly fibre optic cable. Putting a powerline in would DESTROY the trail. And destroy all that we have worked to preserve since 1996.
7. I believe there are alternate sites in Campbell River that would serve the marine passage and North Campbell River.
8. I believe there are alternate sites on Quadra Island that would serve Heriot Bay, north Quadra, and the Outer Islands, that would not impact a recreation site, nor such populated neighbourhoods.
9. There has been some confusion around dates for comments to be received regarding file #1414136. The Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resources has confirmed that August 31st is the final date.
For links to the Site Specific Map, the General Site Map, and comments on this application go to:http://arfd.gov.bc.ca/ApplicationPosting/viewpost.jsp?PostID=41605