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Antenna submission process

 

Background

To support the evolution into 5G and beyond, Wireless Service Providers (Rogers, TELUS, Shaw/Freedom Mobile etc.) need access to public and private infrastructure in order to deploy their wireless equipment. The City of Calgary, Wireless Service Providers (WSPs), members of Council and community associations have a long history of working collaboratively, through a concurrence process, to provide local perspective on the review of telecommunications antenna structures on both public and private infrastructure.

The City of Calgary may, under certain circumstances, license the installation of telecommunication antenna structures and devices (commonly known as cell towers) on City-owned property. For more information on City-owned assets, please visit the Wireless Infrastructure Deployment page.

In 2011, Council adopted the Telecommunication Antenna Structures Siting Protocols to guide collaboration and provide transparency into the concurrence process. 

The antenna submission process: how it works

Before submission

WSPs work with property owners on an agreement for the proposed location of their wireless infrastructure. They may choose to reach out to the ward councillor, community association, or adjacent property owners for feedback prior to submission. Public consultation with property owners within 300 m is required for towers greater than 15 m or an increase of more than 25% in height.  

After submission

  • WSP applies for concurrence.
    • Circulation includes:
    • Type A submissions (cell phone towers) are circulated to the ward councillor and community association.
    • Type B submissions (most commonly antennas on top of buildings) are circulated to the ward councillor and community association.
    • Type C submissions (temporary installations, co-locates and additional equipment) are circulated to the ward councillor.

The City advises on the placement and impact of the wireless infrastructure, and reviews the submission with a focus on design, location and structural considerations. Public feedback may also be considered for Type A and Type B submissions. The City then provides a letter of concurrence or non-concurrence.  In cases where non-concurrence is issued in submission review the City cannot prevent WSPs from ultimately gaining permission from the federal government to install telecommunications.

Did you know?

The City’s review of both City-owned and private assets does not assess or evaluate health and radiofrequency exposure. Health and health safety concerns fall under national Health Canada guidelines.

What’s new

The protocols have remained unchanged since 2014, yet there have been significant changes to telecommunications technologies.  The City of Calgary is updating the siting protocols to address and include small cell technology that enables 5G (the latest generation of mobile network).

This update proposes a review of small cell antennas under a new Type D submission process that will allow The City to provide:

  • an appropriate level of review on small cells that aligns with federal guidance and,
  • best practice guidelines for how they could be installed to lessen visual impacts in high pedestrian environments.

The Draft Telecommunications Antenna Structures Siting Protocols propose the following changes:

  1. Update terminology
    • to reflect organizational changes and titles.
  2. New Provisions to address small cell antennas
    • Introduce a Type D submission process for small cell antenna installations
  3. Changes to address clarity in the protocols
    • Provide best practice guidelines for small cell installations and visual examples of installation preferences. 
    • These examples cover both small cell installations and antennas in alignment with current review practices. 
    • Added the option for virtual public consultation

View the Redline document in its entirety
View a summary table of the proposed amendments

While the federal Minister of Industry is the approving authority for the development and operation of radiocommunication in Canada, The City of Calgary sees value in collaborating with wireless service providers on the installation of small cell antennas.

We are sharing this approach for the land use review of small cell technology with community associations and citizens for information.

Timeline

  • July 5 to July 21, 2021: Information sessions with targeted stakeholders and industry.
  • July 19, 2021: Draft amendments to the Telecommunications Antenna Structures Siting Protocols available.
  • August 2021: Draft amendments further refined. 
  • September 1, 2021: Presentation to Planning and Urban Development Committee (PUD).
  • September 13, 2021: PUD recommendations to Council.

Supporting information

Contact

If you have any questions about the submission process, please contact wid@calgary.ca.

 

Planning Services Centre

We are experiencing higher than normal volumes and longer wait times. We appreciate your patience while our agents answer your questions and review your applications.

If you are trying to reach us, please select only one method of contact for your inquiry. Multiple inquiry services at the same time can increase volumes and wait times. For applications, we encourage the use of our online system as the timelines for drop-off and online submissions are the same.

Hours:
Monday - Friday* 
8 a.m. - 4:15p.m. (Mountain Time Zone)
*closed on statutory holidays

Live chat:
calgary.ca/livechat

Call:
403-268-5311

Drop-off:
COVID-19 Service Changes - Application drop-off
3rd floor, Municipal building
800 Macleod Trail SE

COVID-19 updates:
COVID-19 changes to services


This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​

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