The antennas category includes cell towers, radio antennas, communication antennas, and amateur radio towers.
When is a permit required?
Please note The City of Calgary does not approve antenna structures. The federal government approves development and operation of telecommunication antennas in Canada. In certain cases, they require service providers to consult with the local municipality and the public regarding a proposed location.
A wireless service provider submits a request to The City for review of the proposed location and the proposed public consultation plan. The City then sends a letter of support (concurrence) or non-support (non-concurrence) to the service provider when the review is completed. Please note The City cannot prevent an applicant from obtaining federal permission even if The City disagrees with the location, based on the municipal Telecommunication Antenna Structures Siting Protocols.
A building permit is not always required when the antenna is attached to, and/or supported from an existing building. It must meet wind and snow load requirements of building code.
To ensure safe construction, a building permit is required to install an antenna under the following condition:
- The antenna installation includes the construction of an accessory building over 10 m2on the site
How to apply
Step 1: Review the checklists
Step 2: Prepare your application
- Complete the checklists
- Review your fees
See the Planning Applications fee schedule for a complete list of planning application fees.
Step 3: Apply
The City's role
The City of Calgary reviews and evaluates each submission for an antenna based on land use planning criteria. The specific issues observed, analysed, and evaluated are predominantly, but not limited to, the following:
- Proposed location
- Existing and proposed on-site uses, activities and structures
- Adjacent sites and their existing and proposed uses, activities and structures
- How close a proposed cell tower is to residential development
- Co-location potentials on the site and on nearby sites with other antenna structures
- Compliance with The City’s telecommunication antenna structure policy
- Alignment with Calgary’s Municipal Development Plan regarding historic sites and environmentally sensitive areas
- Proposed design
Please note The City of Calgary review focuses primarily on the design and location of a proposed antenna structure. Our review does not assess or evaluate health and radiofrequency exposure. For health-related information, please refer to these resources:
- Health Canada, Radio Frequency Exposure Guidelines
- Health Canada
- Spectrum management and telecommunications
The City of Calgary is responsible for the following functions in the public consultation process:
- Assess and review the consultation plan created by the applicant
- Clarify provisions of the City’s Telecommunication Antenna Structures Siting Protocols
- Explain The City’s role in the planning and development of telecommunication antenna structures
For additional information regarding the federal government’s mandate and authority in the wireless telecommunications process, please consult Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's Client Procedures Circular CPC-2-0-03 – Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems.