Sous toutes reserves – Without prejudice

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2012-03-28Dubois takes battle to national stage, the Chronicle

2012-03-18 – Requests sent to OCPM & OUQ
Emails are sent to the Office de Consultation Publique de Montréal (OCPM) and to l’Ordre des Urbanistes du Québec (OUQ) inviting them to read the analysis of the access to information documents below.

2012-03-18
We can note that the St Barnabas Web site has still not updated the photo of their church to show the Rogers-Telus tower that is now built there

2012-03-14 – Analysis of access to information documents
You can access below the analysis of documents obtained via access to information requests
Summary – text only (1 MB) Complete analysis with images of pages obtained (Caution 10 MB)

2012-01-26 – Publication of the 2012–12-22 OCPM report on the consultation regarding tower antennas

2011-11-12 – Rogers has its tower installed at St Barnabas Church

Summary
– This page is a diary of events residents living on and near Colin Street in Pierrefonds-Roxboro have had to deal with concerning the installation of Rogers cell phone tower at St Barnabas Anglican Church in Pierrefonds-Roxboro
– On Sept 14 2011 construction workers were seen starting to install the tower
– Not all Anglican Churches want such towers. Click here to read
how Quakers Hill Anglican Church took a stand against mobile tower to be located 100m from their church
– It has been very difficult for residents to get information on this matter from the borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro and from Industry Canada
– Some residents are seeking advice from a lawyer

2011-10-27Click here to see photos of construction activities underway this day at St Barnabas church, Colin Strteet, in Pierrefonds-Roxboro



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2012-02 – Analysis of the Access to information request
– A resident had requested via access to information a copy of the information Industry Canada (IC) had on this Rogers file
– In summary, the information in this file appears to confirm the following:
– Rogers and the borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro were in touch on this matter prior to the public consultation on the introduction of the conditional uses zoning bylaw early in 2010
– Rogers had approached the borough with a plan in mind to do a full consultation as per IC standards.
– It appears it was the borough urbanist Mme Labouly who clearly advised Rogers (at a time when the public consultation had not even started on the conditional uses bylaw) that Rogers should not use its Standard IC public consultation procedure this time but instead, prepare the info to go through the conditional uses bylaw, and this (in feb, march 2010) even though the conditional uses bylaw was only starting the public consultation process and was not yet approved, and was expected to be approved only in July 2010
– (Note – Advising Rogers to prepare their case on a conditional uses bylaw not yet adopted and for which the borough anticipated to get adopted by July 2010 does not bode well for outcomes of the public consultation underway – it was apparently clear to the borough that nothing could have emerged from the public consultation that could jeopardize the conditional uses bylaw – this may explain why the borough was so quiet on the Rogers issue during the consultation as the borough had an interest/reason for wanting the conditional bylaw to pass)
– Rogers and the Borough were in very close collaboration between Feb 2010 and until the end of 2010 / early 2011
– Recall that the borough was consulting residents on new zoning bylaws between Feb 9 2010 and June 2010 yet never (to my recollection) did the borough mention that Rogers was preparing a conditional uses application. Yet throughout this period, there appears to have been direct and frequent communications between the borough urbanist and Mr. Belisle of Rogers.
– At a meeting in late 2010, with IC officials, borough officials reassured IC officials that Rogers had faithfully followed the conditional uses bylaw procedures. The borough appears to be much on board with Rogers when discussing the issue with IC after the Oct 2010 meeting when council had rejected the tower resolution. Council appears to appease IC by saying something along the lines that the only reason they rejected the issue at the Octy 2010 council meeting was because of the concerned residents there…
– The documents appear to support the view that the borough was clearly on board with Rogers and was working with Rogers when it came to countering points that were raised by residents. Ex: When a resident sent a letter to borough and Me Corbeil, it appears Labouly sent a copy of the resident’s letter to Rogers asking Rogers to prepare answers to the many points raised by the resident so that they would know how to respond at an upcoming meeting.
– It certainly appears that the info in the IC file does not match the position that Mr. Dubois and Mme Worth were trying to present to residents, ie. borough officials in 2011 were saying they wanted to reduce the number of tower installations, that they were on the residents side opposing tower installations. In my opinions, the IC documents suggest the borough has always and clearly been on the side of Rogers on this issue.

2012-01-05Tower installations – the risks to residents from the conditional uses bylaw in Pierrefonds-Roxboro

Important emails – Click here to read some of the main emails and letters that have been sent concerning this issue. The last email included is from Oct 24 2010

2011-12-05 – Councilor appears unaware of risks posed by conditional uses bylaw
– A resident asked if there was new information on the Telus tower at Roxboro United Church. Council said no, they had not been contacted by Telus
– A resident also asked borough council to withdraw section 5 for towers from the new conditional uses bylaw but council did not seem to want to do this or understand the risks involved as long as section 5 is left in the bylaw
– As long as section 5 on tower installations is left in the conditional uses bylaw, Pierrefonds-Roxboro residents are at risk of having towers installed in their residential areas.
– As was shown by the Rogers tower at St Barnabas Church, Rogers presented their request to the borough CCU and received CCU recommendation. Council refused the Rogers request yet in the end the federal government approved the tower because it had been presented as a section 5 of the Conditional uses bylaw. Council does not seem to get this.
Also
– In the conditional uses bylaw, borough CCU meetings are much more important since they now serve as the public consultation regarding tower installations. Yet the boroughs often publishes the CCU agenda on the day of the CCU meeting leaving very little or no time for residents to become informed of the conditional use request and as a result residents are prevented from participating knowledgeably in the process

– After the council meeting on December 5th, councillor Dubois approached a resident and claimed he was not aware the conditional uses bylaw could have been used by Rogers in the manner that it has been used. The borough is presenting the Rogers tower issue as an error on their part but this is difficult to believe
– Are councillors adopting bylaws they do not understand or have not read?
– In the case of the Rogers tower, the borough urban planner was in contact with Rogers from march 2010 until the July 12 2010 CCU meeting where Rogers presented their request. This was the period of time where the borough council was consulting residents on the new conditional uses bylaw
– Rogers, with the aid of the borough urban planner, presented a conditional uses request only 2 weeks after the conditional uses bylaw had been adopted by council and before the new bylaw was promulgated into law
– And now the councillor claims he was not aware of this?

2011-12-01An important legal trial gets underway in Nova Scotia on the health impacts associated with tower antennas

2011-11-03 – A few residents meet with noted lawyer Julius Grey to discuss the issues relating to the Rogers tower at St Barnabas

2011-11-02The Suburban – Letter to the Editor from Rev Perry St Barnabas Church – Cell tower overplayed

2011-11-02Analysis of answer from Industry Canada to an email sent to them Oct 24 2011 – The analysis highlights how residents were kept in the dark on this file during the time when Rogers and the borough were negotiating

2011-10-31 – Access to Information – IC – Rogers File – Delay of 120 possible
– Recall that a request was made to Industry Canada for a copy of the Rogers St Barnabas file back on Oct 4 2011
–On Oct 31 2011 the resident receives a letter dated Oct 25 2011 indicating that it may take an additional 90+30 days before the information may be provided to the resident

2011-10-26 Pierrefonds church cell tower a study in conflict – The Suburban

2011-10-13– Cellulaires et antennes-relais: la prudence s’impose – protegez-vous.ca
Santé Canada recommande à la population de limiter son exposition aux micro-ondes, tandis que la Commission scolaire de Montréal demande l’application du principe de précaution dans les écoles.

2011-10-04Requests for information
– A request sent to the borough for minutes of UPAC meeting of July 12 2010 – received – Click here to view the minutes from the July 12 2010 UPAC meeting
– A request sent to the borough for a copy of the Rogers St Barnabas file
–The borough responds saying they will require an additional 10 days before possibly providing the information
– A request also sent to Industry Canada for documents on the decision to install Rogers tower at St Barnabas church
–See entry above for 2011-10-31 for response received from this request for information

2011-10-03Pierrefonds-Roxboro council meeting

2011-09-29Non a Rogers – Le Devoir
– A borough says No! to the installation of a Rogers tower

2011-09-28
Cell tower plan still sparks anger in Pointe Claire Rogers fails to sway residents (West Island Gazette
– Article on the Pointe Claire Consultation last September 21 concerning Beck Park

2011-09-28
Rogers meets with concerned Pointe Claire citizens (The Suburban)
– An article on the Rogers Consultation in Pointe Claire last Sept 21 concerning Beck Park

2011-09-23 – Residents contact Industry Canada and the associated Ministry
– Local residents get in touch with Industry Canada officials and speak with Ministry officials
– Residents inform officials that despite what the borough says, the tower is not yet built and the residents have not had a consultation on the issue.
– Ministry or Industry officials appear surprised by this information which appears to go against information that is included in the file on this issue.

2011-09-21Cell tower not welcome in Pierrefonds (West Island Gazette)

2011-09-21 Cell tower installation goes ahead at Pierrefonds church – The Suburban

2011-09-21 – Public Consultation in Pointe Claire on the tower proposed for Beck Park
– Some Pierrefonds residents attend this consultation
– Pierrefonds residents wonder why Pointe Claire residents get a public consultation while Pierrefonds Residents do not?

2011-09-19Communique published by the borough
Letter Mayor Worth regarding the borough communique – Will the borough correct possible errors in the communique?
Further detailed analysis of the Borough communique of Sept 19 2011

2011-09-16 Cell tower going up in Pierrefonds – West Island Gazette

2011-09-15 Click here to view photos of construction starting at St Barnabus Church regarding the installation of a cellphone tower there

2010-10-04 – Council refusal of application to install tower
RESOLUTION NUMBER CA10 29 0304 CONDITIONAL USE LOT 1 170 948 12 301, RUE COLIN
It was moved by Councillor Dimitrios (Jim) Beis seconded by Councillor Christian G. Dubois

AND RESOLVED

TO refuse according to the by-law CA29 0043 concerning conditional uses the application for a conditional use for the installation of a telecommunication tower and of an equipment vault by Rogers Communication inc. on part of lot 1 170 948 with building bearing civic number 12 301 rue Colin.

UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTED

2010-09-26 Click here to read a very detailed letter sent by a resident to Mayor Worth. The letter list a wide range of valid concerns of the residents regarding the proposed installation of the tower at St Barnabus Church, so close to residences and a daycare.

2011-09-14
– A construction crew starts installing the cellphone tower at St Barnabas Church
– Apparently because of the proximity to residences and businesses (including a daycare) the construction supervisor does not believe he has the right location and has to phone head office to confirm that St Barnabas church is really the location in which they want the tower installed

2010-09-30
Pas de tour dans ma cour! – Echo de l’Ouest
Voir aussi – Attention aux articles de l’Echo de l’Ouest

2010-09-18
West End Times – Is Wi-Fi Safe in Schools? EMSB Offical Responds

2010-09-11
West End Times – Article – Wi-Fi Bad? Click here to read the article

2010-09-07 Pierrefonds-Roxboro council meeting – 40.17 Request for cell phone tower approval
– Rogers would like to install a cell phone tower on Colin street in Pierrefonds-Roxboro on the property of St Barnabas Church
– Residents are present to voice opposition
– Council defers the item to another meeting and asks Council to hold a broader proper public consultation

2010-08-13 – Borough posts a notice on St Barnabas Property
Click here to view pictures of the notice posted by the clerk of Pierrefonds-Roxboro on the property of St Barnabas church. Would you have been able to see the notice at the time it was posted?

Some comments about public consultations

When no conditional uses bylaw exists, formal public consultation required
– A the sept 7 2010 Pierrefonds-Roxboro Council meeting a Rogers communications spokesperson explained to the public and council that when a conditional uses bylaw is NOT in effect, the company must do a formal and comprehensive public consultation with a significant number of residents in the area where a cell phone tower is proposed to be located.

When conditional uses bylaw IS in effect – public consultations are LESS formal
– On the other hand, if a conditional uses bylaw is in effect (as is the case for Pierrefonds-Roxboro) the company does not have to organize a formal public consultation. The company simply presents to the urban planning advisory committee (UPAC) and then, if approved by UPAC, the proposal goes straight to council as an item for approval. The public then has a chance, at that council meeting, to ask questions about the installation.

Tower proposal up for council adoption sept 7 2010

– The proposal to allow the Colin telecommunications tower was item 4.17 the last item on the published agenda for the Sept 7 2010 council meeting.
– Council informed residents during the public question period, at the beginning of the meeting, that all questions concerning the Colin tower would be allowed at the end of the council meeting only when the item would be up for discussion.
– This move by the borough clerk forced the many residents present to have to wait for about 2 hours before asking their questions.

Confusion – When did Conditional Uses bylaw come into effect?

– During the discussion, Mr. Pierre Rochon, Urbanist with Pierrefonds-Roxboro told residents that the Conditional Uses bylaw and just come into effect « last week ».
It was at this time that Mr. Poulin, resident, tried to clarify for Mr. Rochon and the residents, that at the August 2 council meeting, Mr. Rochon had in fact said the new zoning bylaws had come into effect July 19th 2010.

– It would only be on Sept 10, 2010 that the borough would publish, in the notices section (month of July 2010) of their web site, that the Conditional Uses bylaws did in fact come into effect July 19 2010. Please note that the notice of promulgation on the borough web site is made to appear that it was published on July 30 2010 on this page when it fact the posting of the notice on the borough web site was made on Sept 10 2010. The borough does not mention that a change was made retroactively to this July 2010 page.

During the summer of 2010
– Mr. Poulin tries to determine when and where the promulgation notice was published
– On several occasions, Mr. Poulin visits borough hall to request to view the official version of the new zoning bylaws, including conditional uses. Repeatedly the borough does not have official and final versions available on site at borough hall
– It appears that it will only be in October 2010 that the truly official final versions of the bylaws will become available on the Montreal bylaws website

2010-07-19 – Promulgation of Conditional Uses Bylaw
Click here to view the notice published by the borough concerning the promulgation of the Conditional Uses Bylaw
– A resident had to remind the borough later in the summer of 2010, to post such a notice on the borough website.
– It would be on July 19 2010 that the conditional uses bylaw would come officially into effect.

2010-07-12 – Summer UPAC committee hears Tower proposal on July 12 2010
– The proposal for a cell phone tower on Colin street in Pierrefonds was presented at the July 12 summer UPAC meeting , when the vacationing public may not have been aware of it and for which there are no minutes published by the borough on their website.
Click here to view the minutes from the July 12 2010 UPAC meeting
NOTE – On July 12 2010, the Conditional Uses Bylaw is not yet officially in effect as it has not yet been promulgated
– The UPAC meeting for the July 12 2010 Rogers tower issue should not be allowed to be considered under the conditional uses bylaw as that bylaw was not yet officially in effect, it had not been promulgated

2010-06-28 – Special Council meeting at which borough council gives final adoption to CA29 0043 – Conditional Uses Bylaw.
– Note that even though council has given final adoption this bylaw will only become official when it is promulgated
– It will only be much later that residents will find out that this bylaw would end up being promulgated on July 19 2010

Vigilence required by residents

If concerned residents had not been at the Sept 7 2010 meeting, it is very possible council would have approved the installation of the proposed cell tower on a residential street like Colin street in a location very close to a daycare facility.

With the conditional uses bylaw now in effect, it is essential that residents follow carefully all UPAC meetings that may give approval to uses under the conditional uses bylaw.

If residents are not aware projects approved by UPAC under the conditional uses bylaw, it is very possible that projects will be approved by council without having to pass by a formal publi consultation.

Council introduced NEW conditional uses bylaw in june 2010

It is important for residents to know that this NEW Conditional uses bylaw was in fact brought forward by council in the context of its project to harmonize urban planning and zoning bylaws that has been underway since 2007 at a cost of almost $300,000 to municipal taxpayers. These harmonized bylaws and the new conditional uses bylaw were prepared by the private consulting company Daniel Arbour & Associes. As part of the implementation plan to adopt the new bylaws, council had asked residents to become aware of this bylaw earlier that year during the 2010 Olympics.

You can click here to read more about the many concerns of the APRPR on the harmonization project and how the borough went about changing many important bylaws. We are still waiting for the Ombudsman report to address our councerns.

Visit our information page on cell phone towers by clicking here.

Other links:

9 fevrier 2010 – Rogers proposal to UPAC for tower installation

= = = = = = = =
How the borough introduced its new conditional uses bylaw

There is important context concerning the new conditional uses bylaw in Pierrefonds-Roxboro

2010-Harmonizing of bylaws and New conditional uses bylaws
– From June 2007 to June 2010, Pierrefonds-Roxboro paid almost $300,000 to consultants IBI- Daniel Arbour & Associes to « harmonize » the existing zoning bylaws
– Our old zoning bylaws were quite strict on zoning parameters and on public consultation rules
– IBI – Daniel Arbour as part of this harmonization work, introduced the Conditional Uses bylaw which essentially appears to be a way to fast track the approval of some uses on certain zones
– It was never made clear who from the borough asked for this new bylaw or if this was introduced and pushed through the system by DA&A
– Communication towers are now applicable under the conditional use bylaw
Side note – Lawyers Fasken Martineau have advised Daniel Arbour and Rogers on seperate occasion. Fasken Martineau was until very recently the lawyers who were on retainer by Pierrefonds-Roxboro. It is difficult to determine if there ever was legal coordination between the zoning bylaw issue and the eventual Rogers tower application

Public consultation – new zoning bylaws
– The public consultation on the « new » zoning bylaws was held between Feb 9 2010 and May 31 2010
– This was during the period of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics
– The borough and consultants flooded residents with 1050+ pages of information concerning the changing zoning bylaws
– The borough and consultants, despite being asked by residents, have always refused to provide information on what are the detailed differences were between old zoning bylaws and new zoning bylaws. There are a number of computer tools available that would make this easy to do.
– Some residents who participated in the public consultation on the zoning bylaws felt it was unfair to residents (and to local administrators) that the borough and consultants were making Omnibus style widespread changes to our zoning bylaws without residents knowing what was really changing in a very detailed manner
– Some who participated in the zoning bylaw consultation do not recall that residents were informed of the important significance that the CCU UPAC meetings would now be considered the public consultation for conditional use requests, including tower installations
– Massive amounts of evidence were prepared by residents in a period of 6 weeks to try and get the Montreal Ombudsman and provincial MAMROT offices to step in and protect the rights of residents
– From this experience it appears that those investigating resident concerns prefer to defer to the borough, the right for the borough to manage their own affairs under what appears to be the leeway provided to them by the provincial laws
– Though various investigations admitted to the borough using « manoeuvres », they concluded no laws were apparently broken in their opinion.
– A comprehensive accounting of the manner in which the zoning laws were changed is described at:
http://aprpr.org/?p=1117 (which has on it a link to an english page also)

– We even learned on May 31 2010, that Mayor Worth had not read the new bylaws she was about to adopt one week later. She also was not aware and appeared not to care that her councilors had not read the bylaws. Apparently the read the summaries prepared for them by the consultants.

Adoption of the new zoning bylaws including conditional uses
– On June 7 or June 28 2010, at one of the council meetings when some of the new zoning bylaws were adopted, council was reminded one last time that it is a very risky behaviour for an administration to adopt bylaws they have not read, bylaws for which we are not sure which version we are voting on and bylaws being compiled by private consultants and for which we don’t know exactly how they differ from existing bylaws.

Public Register on zoning bylaws
– On June 21-22 2010, all borough residents had a chance to vote against some of the harmonized zoning bylaws
– However the way the register works is if residents don’t sign the register, residents are considered to have voted in favour of the zoning bylaws
– Over 400 people signed the register but because of the boroughwide implications, over 1200 signatures would have been needed in order to halt zone changes
– The new harmonized bylaw may make it more difficult for residents in the future to particpate and in some cases, oppose zone changes
– There were enough « manoeuvres » done by the borough during the harmonizing of zoning bylaws that a developer of a lot on 5th Ave N is now suing the borough for millions in compensation after what the borough did and in the manner that the borough acted

How does this impact the Rogers tower installation at St Barnabas?
– The sequence of events here is important
– Interesting to note the first request for conditional uses would be for the Rogers Tower at St Barnabas
– When exactly did Rogers request a tower installation as a conditional use to Pierrefonds-Roxboro?
– It appears that even though the conditional uses bylaw was not yet officially promulgated, Rogers communications made an application to the borough for a tower at St Barnabas church as a conditional use under the upcoming conditional uses bylaws
– This NEW bylaw was adopted by council on June 28 2010 but was only promulgated into law on July 19 2010
– Apparently the comite d’architecture addresses the Rogers Tower on June 29
– The Rogers request was presented to the July 12 2010 CCU UPAC meeting in a month when many are on vacation
– It is important to determine exactly, based on existing laws, that if the NEW conditional uses bylaw was not promulgated yet, does anything prior to the promulgation date of July 19 2010 may not become applicable as a conditional use
– The borough and Rogers may believe so but this detail is worth fully verifying and confirming
– If the provincial law allows such approvals, then this is a situation where residents may be put at significant disadvantage when new bylaws are introduced or bylaws are changed
– These are the types of risk that residents were trying to point out during the public consultation of Feb-May 2010

Sept 2010 council meeting
– At the Sept 2010 council meeting, when council first sent Rogers away, council is on record as saying in their opinion there had not been sufficient consultation and asked Rogers to do a proper consultation.
– Either council was then still not aware of the « power » of the new conditional uses bylaw or they were simply saying that knowing full well the outcome was already set. All council had to do was at the next meeting to deny the permit and then Rogers could fall back on their CCU UPAC meeting of July 12 2010, complements of the new conditional uses bylaw at the time (though not yet in effect) to use as the « public consultation »
– In some ways Rogers aggressively pursued a fasttrack strategy (conditional uses bylaw) that was put in place by the borough.
– It is reasonable and more prudent though to have thought that any conditional uses issues should have been heard after july 19 010

– It is the context concerning how the conditional uses bylaw was brought into being by the borough, how Rogers was allowed to benefit from it before the bylaw was officially promulgated, how residents were not aware of the risks associated with the new bylaw….

– Residents were caught offguard
– It is difficult from the outside to say exactly but it does make one wondner if borough insiders and Rogers worked together to fastrack the Rogers application under the new conditional uses bylaw